Board Game Session Report for February 19, 2004: Tongiaki, Dante's Inferno, Guillotine


Danger Planet session. 5-player Tongiaki, 5-player Dante's Inferno, 4-player Guillotine.


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

We spent 15 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a tile-laying game with an exploration theme.

Players start with boats on an island made up of a different number of moorings on different beaches.

Players add to different moorings on one island a number of boats equal to the number already there. If all the moorings at a beach fills up, the boats go off exploring. Tiles are drawn, extending waterways until an island is found. Then boats are distributed onto the beaches on that island. Some waterways require a number of different boats in order to pass safely. Different islands are worth a different number of points. A player with a presense on an island at the end of the game scores points for the island.

The game ends when all the waterways or islands have been drawn and placed.

The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Session Overview

I convinced Karl to buy this game. I wanted to try it because it's a tile- laying exploration game -- my favorite kind of game. But I never heard of this new release before, so I wanted someone else to risk their money on it, though I did chip in for it as a bribe.

This turned out to be a fun game. Especially nice because of its relatively reasonable price.

The tiles were sturdy, so they were pleasant to handle. The wooden tokens, which don't look anything like a boat to me, were effective.

Karl was the first to kick off a chain reaction, spreading boats far and wide as he filled beaches' moorings. We had to shift the tiles later because we were running off the edge of the table. I set off another chain reaction, spreading my ships onto lucrative islands near the originating island. I even left the possibility of launching more boats off there, if the game lasted long enough.

The game felt about the right length for what it was, so it's a satisfying game.

I didn't have a sense that I was winning, because I was just having fun laying tiles and moving bits around.

Preston commented that it's too random for strategy because of drawing tiles at random and placing them immediately.

[A rule we got wrong... if a beach has more than one footbridge when moorings get filled, you have to choose which footbridge to use BEFORE drawing a tile. Though, the way we played it added some strategy to the game.]

Caption: Tongiaki mid-game

Game lasted 40 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Tongiaki at

Click here to learn more about Tongiaki at

Dante's Inferno

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

We spent 5 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

Dante's Inferno is a resource-management, tile-laying game set in the nine circles of Hell.

Each tile has two of circles of Hell on it and two numbers printed on it. Players start with three pawns on the first (outer) circle which is laid out at the beginning of the game, and work their way down to the ninth circle to defeat Lucifer to win the game. Along the way, players collect souls (resources) and spend them on actions.

There are four different types of souls, and different combinations are needed to do different things.

There are three phases in a turn:

1) fight a demon in the same space as a pawn. Winning eliminates the demon from the board. Losing kicks the pawn up one level to the nearest corner.

2) Roll for resources. A player with a pawn on a number rolled receives the soul represented by the tile.

3) Perform actions. Perform as many actions as resources available.

These actions are:

. Move your pawn one space for free

. Move one demon one space for free

. Move your pawn one space

. Move a pawn between circles

. Flip an existing tile making it unpassable/passable

. Draw and play a tile to start filling in the inner circles where resource production is higher

. Move an opponent's pawn

. Add another pawn for a maximum of six

Other interesting rules: Rolling doubles means players may add an additional soul of their choice, rolling 7 means the player adds a demon to a corner tile, rolling 2 or 12 means the player may add or move a soul doubling chit to a tile or a zero production chit to a tile.

The game comes with beautiful plastic bits for the pawns and demons, sturdy tiles, and dice.

Session Overview

This game was different than all the previous ones we played in that we saw more demons come out then ever before.

Teresa and Cindy seemed to play conservatively, trying to rack up resources. Karl and Preston tried to develop the inner layers on the way to the center in order to get more resources. I made a direct dash to the center, getting resources from others as I needed them.

I felt like people were ganging up on me, sending demons my way. It only slowed down my mad rush, but didn't stop me.

Preston made it to the center first, losing two attempts at defeating Satan. He even traded with me to get the resource I needed. When it came to my turn after that, I defeated Satan on my first attempt for the win.

Dante's Inferno
Caption: Dante's Inferno mid-game

Game lasted 90 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Dante's Inferno at

Click here to learn more about Dante's Inferno at


Players were Teresa, Karl, Preston, myself. Teresa was a new player to the game. Teresa had the first turn.

We spent 3 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

Guillotine is a card game with a whimsical French Revolution theme.

Players are competing executioners vying to chop off the heads of the most valuable French nobles.

Session Overview

Cindy left to catch a bus, and we ended up playing a quick game of Guillotine.

Nothing memorable happened, but it was a fun way to end the evening. Teresa and Preston tied, so we decided to break the tie by giving it to the player with the most heads.

Game lasted 20 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Guillotine at

Click here to learn more about Guillotine at

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Contents by Vitas Povilaitis
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