A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Game Of The Month August 2022

Game of the Month Great Plains

Great Plains - Kirsty Hewitt

Two player and area control are not usually two game concepts which go together. But Great Plains, from Lookout Games, is a fantastic exception to this!

In Great Plains the foxes and snakes are battling for control of the plain on which they live. Firstly each player has to place their three starting dens. These determine where the players can start to spread their pieces from. In the second phase of the game, the players take turns to place their animals out on the plain. But, not all areas of the plain are scoring areas. Players want to have the majority of animals in a yellow grassland area to score it. If it is a tie, neither player gets points. There are also some grasslands which have a spring in. Gain control of one of these and you get an extra point. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

On the non-scoring grassland, you can gain one of three types of spiritual animal tile. These help you in your quest to rule the plain by bending certain rules. Normally you can only place a piece one space away from another. With the horse you can place a piece two spaces away. The eagle will let you soar over mountains. Whilst the bear enables you to push one of your opponents pieces onto an empty space or even off the board.

These animal tiles are what makes Great Plains such a stand out game for me. The supply is limited so timing your use of these special powers can be the difference between winning and losing. But, whatever the outcome, the game is quick to play so you could set up and go again.

Snowdonia - Thom Newton

I think everybody has a game that every time they grab it off of the shelf and get a play in, they are left with that feeling of “Wow! Why do I not play this game more often?” Well, for me that game may well be Snowdonia. This is such a clever worker placement game that is mechanically full of wheels within wheels.

The concept sounds so simple, you’ve got a team of workers and you want to build up as much track and stations as possible. But wrinkle number the first comes when you’ve got other teams of workers competing with you to do the same thing. Each round of the game you’ll place out your workers on different tasks. These could be things like gathering resources or excavating rubble. But a lot of these actions are interdependent. You can’t place track if the rubble hasn’t been cleared and what’s the point of building a station if there is no track?

Ideally you want to be always doing the most beneficial action available to you. But if you go all in on these actions then the other players may well choose to just spend their time moving their surveyor up the mountain. Doing this nets them a few points but more importantly scuppers your plans. You’ve also got the notorious Welsh weather to contend with. This can make certain actions less productive or even impossible. So, keeping an eye on the forecast can give you the edge on planning those future turns.

With the Master Set of Snowdonia, you’ve also got 18 different scenario expansions to play with. These scenarios may change the stations available to build, which will change the scoring. It may change the effects of the weather or add a new weather type entirely. There are also loads of trains in this edition. Trains are basically a way of adding variable player abilities into the mix and there is a huge number of them, I want to say over 100.

This is one of those games that never seems exciting enough to be the first game I want to grab off the shelf. But everytime it does make it to the table I’m always angry at myself for leaving it so long between plays. It’s such a clever game and it definitely doesn’t get the love it deserves.

Clank! - Tom Harrod

I played Clank! again recently and it reminded me: wow, I love this game. The skeleton of the affair is deck-building 1.01, in a pure, no-nonsense form. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. There’s no twist to the mechanisms. You start off with a bland deck of 10 cards, and each turn you draw five cards and play them. Many cards let you buy better cards, which you shuffle into your deck. It’s a positive snowball. And with over 100 cards available, you’re going to build a unique deck every game.

The attribute that makes Clank! tick is that its secondary feature. The point-to-point movement synchronises with the deck-building like cookies and cream. You’re using your deck of cards to delve into a dungeon to grab loot. Problem is, you’re risking the wrath of the dragon who lives here, standing jealous guard over it. Yes, you’re a group of rival Bilbo Baggins wannabes. Your aim? Trying to snatch the not-really Arkenstone from underneath Smaug’s (not officially Smaug’s) terrifying nose.

But there’s more. A third ingredient into this Clank! cake. The sprinkle of that sweet, something-something on top. The part that makes players grin and groan in equal parts. Push-your-luck. You didn’t think you were going to sneak through this dungeon in total silence, now? There are certain cards that cause you to stumble. Where you’re less stealthy, more lumbering, over-zealous and outright clumsy. Think that scene where Pippin is a fool of a Took, and makes that horrendous clang in the Mines of Moria. They might have tiptoed through, but no, it was the noise that alerted the Balrog to their presence.

Every time you make noise, you have to spend the onomatopoeia that is ‘Clank’. This gets represented by cubes of your colour. And whenever certain cards get revealed, the dragon attacks in a terrifying rage. All Clank gets put into a draw bag, and then a certain quota of it gets drawn out at random. And if it’s your colour Clank that gets revealed? It starts filling up your health bar. But beware of making too much noise, because if you run out of health, you could end up nothing but a pile of ash…

Clank! gives you the fuzzy feelings of entering the dungeon as a naive, Level 1 adventurer. As your deck evolves, you sense yourself ‘levelling up’ as the game progresses. It’s so satisfying to see, and so enjoyable and tense when you draw those Clank cubes out of the bag! It’s whetted my appetite for sure, to check out the other Clank! expansions from Direwolf/Renegade Studios. The question is, which should I opt for? Sunken Treasures, The Mummy’s Curse, Gold and Silk, or Temple of the Ape Lords?

Kites Time To Fly - Rob Wright

August – what a month it’s been! Zun, zea, Zatucon! Yeah, it’s been all the fun, mostly outside in the sun, and I even almost got a tan. Gamer’s gotta game though, so I have managed to get to the table occasionally.

Now, before the weekend I would have said my Game of The Month was Dice Throne (especially the new Marvel stuff), but then I bumped into Neil Proctor this weekend at Zatucon and he introduced to me to a little co-op game called Kites: Time to Fly. We then proceeded to play it three times in a row – it would have been four, but we needed a beer and someone mentioned Porno Charades (I won’t say who, but their initials are PP) so we got… distracted.

Kites is a frenetic, real-time co-operative game where players are striving to put on the best kite display ever (look, Hanabi is about fireworks, Sagrada is about windows… it’s kites, okay?). To do this, a series of sand timers, each varying in size from 30 secs to 1 min 30 secs, must be kept going by flipping them. This is done by playing one of the three cards in your hand which have either one or two colours (and a lovely kite illustration) that relate to the different coloured sand timers. There is also a wild white sand timer that can be flipped with a single colour card, as long as there are cards left to draw, because each player must draw back up to three at the end of their turn. There are also storm, tangle and aeroplane cards that can really mess things up. If players can play all their cards before the timers run dry, the display is a fluttering success. If not, it crashes and… burns?

For a game about kites, this is surprisingly thrilling – like an episode of 24 with paper and string. It’s simple, compact, fast and very, very addictive. It’s also not out yet, but can you say pre-order? I knew you could…

Sniper Elite - Callum Price

Hidden movement doesn’t get enough love in my opinion. It often follows one vs many gameplay and can put folk off with its dash of asymmetry. To those good people of the board gaming world: you are wrong. My game of the month is a clear cut winner of these mechanics and shines as an excellent example of a video game idea implemented as a board game. Sniper Elite is tense, tactical and oh so fun!

Sniper Elite is a 1-4 player, one vs many game that takes about an hour to play. One player is the shooter: tracking down objectives and sniping enemies from the shadows. Their movement is tracked on a separate board in secret and centres on outmanoeuvring the the opposition. The other players share 3 factions of defenders, each comprising of two soldiers and a commander. They balance out their lack of knowledge with unique commander abilities and being able to sweep, spot and gather intelligence to find the sniper. They win if they can prevent the shooter from completing their objectives in ten turns, or by shooting the sniper twice.

It’s fair to say that there’s some real Scotland Yard vibes going on here. One player running amuck whilst others flap about hunting them down… but it’s go so much more meat on the bones. Playing as the sniper you have to be stone faced, unflinching and clever… sticking to the shadows and being unpredictable! It’ll mean spending a fair bit of time away from the action, but that’s the safest spot! Whereas the defenders will be discussing their actions like colonels in a war room. Who’s doing what? What do we know? How can we all contribute? And when you do finally get a hit on that sneaky sniper… it all gets cranked to 11! Tensions for everyone is heightened and no end of panic. It’s superbly fun and one I wouldn’t overlook. It is a pristine example of hidden movement done to perfection!