Back from Essen!

We’re back after a hardcore week of booth-running at Spiel 2016! Thank you to all the people who I spoke with at the show who had such nice things to say about the stuff we’re doing at the moment (especially with the YouTube channel) – I hope you all enjoy the soon-to-be relaunched podcast, more on which will be revealed shortly…

Of course, Essen is all about Getting Your Hands On All The New Hot Games, and even though there wasn’t much time to walk the halls, a good selection of stuff made its way back home. Check out the video to see what loot will be hitting the table soon at Little Metal Towers!

The current world is the era of so many different things fulfilling the dreams and expectations of all. This has proved to be a very safe and profitable one for the traders for technology has helped the trading field with many different and unique changes that are actually making this a very comfortable place for making some extra money. Technology has in fact made traders expect more from here for every new change is followed by another and this goes without a full stop. Yes, expectations never get satisfied and it is this that triggers technology also to come up with something new and unique for the traders.

Cryptocurrency market

Cryptocurrency is nothing but the operations and management of digital currency that follows the principles of cryptography. These cryptocurrencies are not centralized and they are not governed by any single authority; each one operates and functions as an individual unit or coin in the market and the traders are at freedom to pick and choose one of their choices without any influence from the market or anyone. Similarly, the prices of the coins or the various other units that are traded in the market are fixed or calculated majorly by the market participants who are primarily responsible for the buying and selling of currencies and not anybody else apart from the traders.

It`s all about safety

Irrespective of the trading platform that a trader picks for his trading activities, it is the safety and the privacy that every trader expects from them. And this is adequately offered by the reliable ones which have their operations and functions genuinely framed here and it is probably these that make this market a worthy one to make investments in. Basically, it is the protection that is offered by the trading field that makes it an attractive one for the traders and it’s with this as the primary expectation that every trader places his first step here. So with any and all trading software, it is primarily this safety, protection, and privacy that is expected the most from them.

Now, this is possible with trading platforms like the HB Swiss which is a special introduction into the market mainly to assist the traders in their profit-making mission. Now the one that does this well without expecting anything in return is the one that is believed to be fulfilling all that has been expected by the traders. so get associated with one such software and enjoy making money.

Portal Games live at Essen 2016!

Just a quick post to let you know that the first of our interviews from the show floor at Essen Spiel is now live – and why not start it in style with one of the biggest names in gaming, Poland’s own Portal Games?

I sit down with Marcin to discuss their new releases at the show, including the European unveiling of Cry Havoc, the latest expansion for Imperial Settlers – Aztecs – and the beautiful second edition of Robinson Crusoe. Check out the video below!

Is the basic rule of crypto to buy low and sell high? This need not be necessary. Market fluctuations and changes are unpredictable and nobody could have an influence on this for it is the market and the minute- by- minute changes in the economic and fiscal structure of a country that stands responsible for these. So though the market advice to buy low and sell high, it is certainly difficult to follow this rule for it is impossible. Another reason for this to be a tough thing to follow is the high volatility of the market and also the sudden and immediate fluctuations in the market.

Factors that affect the crypto market

There are a lot of trading applications and software in the market like the HB Swiss and much more reliable and trusted trading platforms. And as all of us know trading becomes productive and profitable when only a trader gets to associate himself with one of those in the market. Now once this is done, he needs to understand and learn all about the market, the trading platform and the trading field for adding value and worth to his investments made here. Now, this also demands him to understand the major factors that would make the market a little fidgety. Some of them are described below for better and enhanced understanding of the market.

  • High volatility – as specified above, high volatility is a major problem that affects the market and becomes responsible for the unexpected and unimaginable changes and fluctuations in the market. There are a lot of factors in turn that causes this volatility like the economic instability, unstable fiscal policy etc… Here it is not just the trading field but also the other major markets that have a great impact and influence in the everyday life of the traders.
  • Fraudulent applications – when the numbers of fraudulent trading applications increase in the market, the presence of the assets or the availability of the assets available for trading decreases and at the same time there would also be great changes and fluctuations in the prices of the assets making it difficult for the traders to either buy or sell them at the current prices in the market.

There are many similar factors that affect the trading market and the various components that make trading a great field to play on. Each and every component here is influenced by one or the other factor and when comes to trading all of these need to be understood well.

Essen 2016: Top Ten New Releases!

With Essen 2016 only a week away, I figured it would probably be a good idea to jump on the bandwagon and shout about some of the stuff that I’m excited about that’ll be released at this year’s event. As ever, because I seem to be evolving into some kind of gaming hipster, I wanted to focus (at least partially) on some of the smaller, more curious releases that will be available in Germany.

Cryptocurrency trading needs a trader to know a little more about the trading market though we say that it is very similar to the binary trading online. Of course, the lines and basis on which trades happen on both of these platforms or fields are the same but it is important to know the specifications or the specialties of each field to fair well in the field that is intended and taken up for trading. So here is how Cryptocurrency market needs to be looked up at. It becomes essential for all the traders who want to try their luck here in the cryptocurrency trading market to know the below-listed points to have a satisfied trading experience here in this market.

  • We say that it is a great move or a great solution to diversify the initial investment on various different assets and tradable options for this would safeguard and protect the trader from probable losses. The loss from one would be set-off easily with the profits from the other which are possible only when an investor has a diversified investment. But this need not be a good and wise option all the time; this might not be a sensible move every time especially with the cryptocurrency market for here you would only be losing with all the diversified options. And this is why it is always advised to any trader to make an investment of what he can afford to lose in the first place and then try and make diversifications if he can stretch a little more.
  • It is important to look at the market cap than the price of the coin you are planning to make an investment on crypto robot 365.generally traders tend to go by the profit or the return percentage promised by an investment opportunity offered. But at many times this might be misguiding. And it is for this reason that traders are recommended to go by the market cap. Yes, every trader should look into how many of the total coins he would be able to buy against the total cap for this would determine exactly the long-term profits, the supply, and the scarcity in its availability.
  • Investments in cryptocurrencies require the traders to take into account two important things. One is that the present value does not indicate its future value or performance and that he or she should always look out for the realistic future indicative value of the asset or the coin.

Monday Rundown launches!

Hey everyone – I’m trying a new segment for The Score over on the Little Metal Television YouTube channel where I’ll be running down some of the best (and occasionally the worst, if warranted) games that I’ve played over the last week. It’s called The Monday Rundown, and I’ll aim to always keep it bite size yet (reasonably) informative. Here’s the first episode – I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

It is important to know yourselves on the trading platform you have decided to trade on. Yes, there are different levels at which each trader gets to enter the trading field and believe it or not, each level has benefits and risks according to the level that that trader can afford to accept or digest. Wondering as to what we are talking about here? Now here is a detail on the same and traders are sure to feel happy and satisfied at the end of this blog when they get to understand that each one of them has a unique and special place in the trading filed and they would definitely be felt important.

Levels or categories of traders

Traders in the trading field are classified based on the level and amount of investment made by them while making their entry. Though we say that the minimum deposit required and demanded from every trader is $250, this is just the minimum that is expected from any trader in any trading platform like the crypto robot 365. Though there is a minimum limit to the initial deposit to be made by each trader, there is actually no maximum limit and it is based on this that the traders get classified. Now let’s take a look at how they get categorized.

  • Usual traders – these traders are the ones who come to this trading field with the sole aim of getting something in return for whatever has been invested by them. And they also belong to the normal category wherein they cannot afford to make more investments and at the same time cannot afford to lose more. So they come into this category wherein this minimum deposit amount is the right investment amount for them and try to make profits from this.
  • Golden traders – these are traders who can make a deposit amount up to $5000. They are a little more important when compared to those belonging to the above classification and they get to have information straight from the market when they decide to get information by making a subscription for the same.
  • Platinum traders – these traders are those who stay back in the trading field to invest up to $50000. Their affordability is so very high and lavish that losing a trade would not make any impact on them, their money or their trading interests. Trading is more so like a fun game for them.

Origins 2016 – Video Round Up Part 2

Hey folks! Now that I’m back from Ohio I’ve had plenty of time to finish off the remaining videos from Origins 2016. Thank you to all the folks who took time out at the show to speak with me, and thank to all of you lot for watching the videos over on The Little Metal Television channel on YouTube. Of course, if you like them, clicking the Subscribe channel is a lovely thing. Here’s the second and final batch from the show floor!

The personal experience with the trading world is different for everybody. These experiences cannot be imitated or mimicked by another person for each and every person has something different and unique to experience with the trading platform of their choice. This is a field that teaches and enriches every single trader with a distinctive learning and it is for this reason that traders are requested to have their trades here personally. Of course, the blogs and recommendations online would help a trader in choosing his path but it is his experiences and hands-on here that would help in understanding this field better than what has been heard from the other`s experience.

Crypto secrets

  • Try to justify and add value to your choices. It is very important to be a smart trader in this field because there are frauds and cheats very much present here and it is very easy for a trader to get trapped in the nets of fraudulent trading software. So try to always justify your choice of trading platform with the maximum back-ups and be sure that you are in safe hands and in a safe trading activity. Do not let your choices ruin your money and trading interests.
  • An investment in the trading field is a very profitable one but do not get greedy with the returns. This field always tries to attract and allure the traders to make more investments and this might sometime be deceiving too. So always try to see and investigate what you can afford to lose and invest accordingly so that you are not disappointed when the results are out. So invest only that much that can be lost without a trouble.
  • Goals need to be set a little high, for only when you reach out to the skies would you at least land reaching for the stars. Of course, this might look a little too much when described in words for this statement means different levels to different traders. And each trader should set achievable goals to the limit he can stretch himself to.
  • Pay heed and attention to the mistakes committed and try not to repeat the same. These are all good opportunities to experience and learn to get better in the trading field and to know how and how not to be here.

All these can be followed meticulously when you decide to trade with systems like the crypto robot 365 which presents all options and opportunities for having a great trading experience.

Run The Jewels – Crossing review

If you look back over recent reviews here on The Little Metal Dog Show, you’ll see that things have taken something of a lighter tone – work is crazy busy, and there’s always a lot going on, so finding the time to settle in for four hours of something like Through The Ages is a rare occurrence. Thankfully there are many great games out there that offer an interesting play experience in a much shorter period of time, and I’ve found that my shelves grow increasingly heavy with these small boxes. Sure, I still love a deep, multi-hour game, but quick playtimes can often be fun too. Enter Crossing from Asmodee, a game packled with bluff and potential cruelty wrapped up in a cutesy package that’s perfect for family game night.

Automation would change the way you trade

We talk about automation as a threat to jobs. There is more to automation than just the replacement of human resources. Automation done right would perfectly complement the human efforts. The same effects also apply to automation in trading. There are two main ways in which you can automate your trading activities. One is the full-fledged automation where you would hand over the whole control to a trading bot and then allow the bot to take decisions. The other is to automate just parts of the trading process while still holding the control to yourself.

Automation for the new traders

Automation has a different meaning depending on the skills and knowledge of the trader. The purpose for which the trader is looking for automation is also something that cannot be ignored. When you are totally new to trading in cryptocurrencies you might take some time to understand how to analyze the market. During that time you spend on research if you still would like to make some profits then there are trading bots that come with full autopilot mode.

In these trading bots, you would start by creating an account. The trading bot would then allow your trading account and would function as the trader. It would depend on the code that supports it and performs a technical analysis of the market. The efficiency of a crypto trading bot would depend on the creator, the strategies that are fed in the code. The bots would run round the clock, keep looking for the patterns that form in the market and then pick signals from the patterns and make decisions based on the decision making strategy designed.

Automation for the professional traders

The experienced traders would use automation very differently. Some prefer keeping the decision making authority to themselves. Using a fully automated bot would not give the transparency of understanding the chosen parameters or technical indicators. But with partial automation, the trader would be able to automate order placement and market analysis. The trader himself can then decide the best technical indicators to use for the decisions being taken.

So what should you really choose?

If you plan to rely on one bot for a long time making sure that you understand the flexibility it offers. When you use crypt trading bots like Crypto VIP Club, you have the advantage of customizing your trading strategies. These bots are designed so as to be used by beginners and professionals alike.

It’s a very daft world we find ourselves in, with various fantastical races battling for control of mystical gems. Each player represents the leader of one of the groups, and play begins with the placing of special mushroom tiles in the middle of the table. These need to easily accessible to everyone and there will always be one less tile than there are players – so, should you have the maximum six people sat around the table, there’ll be five mushrooms in the centre.

Before you begin, each tile is then stocked with two random gems taken from the included bag – there are sixty in there, and the game ends on the round when the last ones are removed. Gems will score you points at the end of the game. Red, Blue and Yellow ones will get a single point apiece, but a set of each of the three will be traded in for five points at the end of the game. The White gems score two points for every one collected. But how do you get them?

Crossing Play

Such shiny stuff. So cute to look at. And so much potential for anger and rage…

Well… pointing, mainly. Lots of pointing. For the first round, the players count to three, and on three everyone must point to one of the mushrooms. If you’re the only person pointing at one of the tiles, congratulations! You claim the gems for your own and place them on your character’s tile, gloating with the knowledge of being a unique and special person. If you happened to choose a mushroom that someone else also selected, you’re out of luck; no gems for you this turn. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

You see, when the round ends, more gems are drawn from the bag. An empty mushroom gains two, just like the start of the game. However, any central tile that already had gems on it gains an extra one from the bag, and these can quickly stock up, becoming more and more alluring at the game continues. From the second round onwards, players also have a couple of extra options, by way of pointing at an opponent’s tile to steal an entire stash and boost their own, or cover their collected booty and hide it away, protected from thieves for the rest of the game. Choosing this option sees you sit out of the next round though, leaving the available mushrooms open for braver (or more reckless) players.

So far, so simple, but there’s another level to Crossing that elevates it above simply collecting shiny tokens. In this game, table talk isn’t just allowed, it’s positively encouraged, meaning that deals and promises can be made at any time. That doesn’t mean that you have to stick to what you’ve agreed with other players, though. In fact, the game truly comes into its own when you pick your battles, forming useful alliances at just the right time and then stabbing your now quite annoyed friends in the back, just so you can get your hands on a few valuable gems. The extra points that you get from collecting a set of Blue, Red and Yellow gems can be well worth a couple of rounds of working together, only to see this alliance crumble when you steal the stuff you’ve ‘helped’ them accrue over the last five minutes.

Crossing hits that same mark as the excellent Skull (aka Skull and Roses) for me – light enough to explain to newcomers in a couple of minutes, but with just enough meat on the bones to warrant multiple plays in the same evening. It has the same twin markers of bluff and deception built into its DNA, and playing regularly with the same people will see them develop tells that you’ll find yourself constantly looking out for. Keeping an eye on what gems folks have already collected will prove constantly useful, as this is as much as game of awareness as it is reaction – a swift eye between rounds is as vital as a quick hand switching from one tile to another when you spot someone else going for it.

While there’s not a massive amount of stuff in the box, what is in there is nicely put together. The art is pretty throughout, the rulebook clear and concise, and the tiles are thick so they’ll last through plenty of poking and prodding – just what you’d expect from Asmodee, who are putting out a string of beautifully produced games over these past couple of years. My only issues are that playing requires a minimum of three players, and with six around the table the whole thing can be over before you even feel like you got started – however, with four or five, it’s an ideal end of the night palette cleanser that shows a darker side than you may initially expect.

Crossing was designed by Yoshiteru Shinohara (and is only his second game, according to BGG). It was released by Asmodee in 2016, though was originally self published under the name of Xing back in 2013. Between three and six people can play, with games taking around fifteen minutes or so. It’s on sale from the good folks at Funagain Games for $25 and is well worth checking out.

Never Ending Story – Ilios review

Oh man, The Iliad. It brings back weird memories for me, of schooldays when I thought I was clever because I was reading Homer and listening to The Smiths when everyone else was outside playing football and actually having fun with other people. Eh, whatever, I was having fun in my own, lonesome way. Plus I liked hanging out in the library, because occasionally folks would stumble in and we could play RPGs. Yay for the more antisocial members of my school!Learn where a crypto bot fits in your investment strategy

If you are a new investor you might already have a lot running through your mind. There is one main confusion that every new investor normally has and that is the choice of the right investment plans. If you would like to totally give up control then there are some managed funds that you can consider. But you might have to forget about your funds for the entire tenure and there is no talk about liquidity. So if you are going to be a smart investor you should really consider diversifying your portfolio and plan to mix and match managed and self-managed funds. The thought about investing in equities or cryptocurrencies, the thoughts about becoming a trader should not daunt you anymore. You can learn and sharpen your trading skills with the various online resources. And to up the ante, there are numerous trading bots as well. If you are one among the millions who chose to make the smart move of investing in cryptocurrencies then you have some good news to cherish- cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

How would a trading bot assist a new trader?

If you are new to crypto trading then you would definitely benefit from having assistance. In most cases shadowing someone who has all the information would be a great way to learn and grow. You would be able to do the same thing with a trading bot. Crypto bots like Crypto VIP Club are designed with sophisticated algorithms running on the inside. But this complication doesn’t necessarily have to worry you because all you are exposed to, is a super-clean layout where you simply see the market status and the decisions being taken. When you shadow a trading bot you would be able to notice the way it takes decisions. Though you cannot really get deep into the strategies being followed and the parameters being chosen to take the decisions you can still view the decisions being taken.

There are advanced algorithms designed to perform technical analysis with the real-time data from the market. With inbuilt risk management features, these bots can work on minimizing the risks and increasing the profits. The best aspect of such reliable bots is that they are programmed to analyze and predict the results based on a large variety of indicators instead of relying simply on a bunch of parameters and miscalculating the results. So without having to spend time or efforts, you can be assured of a steady source of income from crypto trading if you choose a crypto trading bot.

However annoying a teen I may have been, the story of The Iliad is still one that I enjoy. The battles, the heroes and villains, the siege of Troy… it remains an incredible tale, even moreso when paired with The Odyssey. Of course, many game designers have drawn inspiration from these legendary tales, the latest of which was developed by Eliot Hochberg; his new creation that recently funded over on Kickstarter is called Ilios, and it’s really rather splendid. One thing though – if you’re looking at a game that will evoke stories of high adventure and embittered gods, this may not entirely be the one for you. That’s not to say that Ilios is bad – not at all, it’s actually excellent – but it’s abstract in the extreme, almost to the point of themeless.
That’s not a problem though – abstracts are much loved by a lot of gamers; look at the GIPF series, for example, and the company responsible for Ilios are also the folks behind another game I really enjoyed, Cartography, so there’s certainly a track record for quality there. Like most games in the abstract genre, Iliosattempts to capture the classic concept of ‘moments to learn, but a lifetime to master’, but does it achieve this lofty goal? Well, first things first – how does it play?
Pretty straightforward, as it turns out. A grid of squares is your battlefield – my prototype copy came with a 7×7 sheet, but the rulebook suggests a 6×6 set-up, or 4×4 for a quicker game. Between two and four people can play, each one represented by an army of coloured discs that will track your plays as well as what areas of the board you currently control. The only other components in the game are a selection of thirty-five wooden Warrior Tiles (of which there are five different types for use during standard play) and one further set of four Iron Weapon tiles that are used to start the proceedings. Each player takes one and placed them on the board, determining where future tiles can be placed for at least the first round…
Each turn sees players choosing from one of three tiles in their hand, which is then placed on one of the empty squares on the grid. The only rules regarding placement is that at least one of the arrows on a tile must be pointing towards a square occupied by an opponent or one of those Iron Weapon tiles that begin the game. Once a tile is in play, anything its arrows point to are ‘attacked’ – in other words, you replace the current coloured disc on enemy tiles with one of your own. You then mark the tile you’ve just played with a disc of your own and, should any tiles now be completely surrounded by a combination of discs, tiles, or the board edge, you get to claim it for yourself (leaving your disc behind to show your feat of strength!), scoring the points shown at the end of the game.


Placing this ‘1’ tile means you get to seize the 10-point Iron Weapons token – vital if you’re going to crush your enemies before you!

And so it continues – place a tile, switch out coloured discs, occasionally claim a tile for points, then draw back to three tiles – until there are no open squares left on the board. Points are tallied and the highest scorer wins… and that’s very much it, so it definitely satisfies the quick learning time criteria.
As for the ‘lifetime to master’ bit? Well, the games I’ve played of Ilios have been challenging and are often very close, but I get the feeling that if I were to be facing off against someone who had a lot more experience I’d be getting destroyed on a regular basis. While it doesn’t feel like the game suffers from the problem of being solvable (which is an issue some abstract titles can suffer from), greater experience will most certainly pay off as you learn little strategies that can give you an edge in play. The fact that you can also play with between two and four people as well as switch up the size of the board means that there is plenty of variance in Ilios – a smaller board with a larger amount of players leads to an incredibly cut-throat game, while more space means there’s more room to breath and consider your options. It’s a refreshing approach to abstract gaming, and each different game set-up does indeed manage to feel a little different. Sure, the general premise is always going to be the same, but the mix of player count and board size does keep things fresh.
Now, with all that said, I know in my heart that I not everyone will get into Ilios. While yes, I enjoyed playing Ilios, a large amount of gamers out there who will immediately turn it down simply because it’s an abstract affair. However, I encourage you to keep an open mind and give this rather charming game a shot – after all, pretty much every game deserves to be played (unless you’re talking about that bloody awful Doctor Who Trivia Game we reviewed a couple of years back). With even a four-player game taking around twenty minutes, it’s a quick brain-burner that the right group will really enjoy – just make sure that you’re a part of it!

Little Metal Dog Show – Episode 2.3 – Battlestations!

In this new run of the podcast, I am going to be VERY selective about the games that I choose to talk about that are currently on Kickstarter. In all honesty, towards the end of the first series, I felt like the focus was very heavily skewed towards crowdfunding, and while it was great speaking to people about their games, it could sometimes feel like a bit of a shill. This time around though you’ll be hearing a lot less from the KS-sphere, and if someone does happen to have a game currently seeking funding, having them appear on the show will be a pretty bloody good sign that you should probably go ahead and check it out.

Crypto trading – the growing popularity and the rise of crypto bots

You might have already heard about the tough competition that the crypto bots are giving to the crypto traders out there. Cryptocurrency came as a concept that had a potential for materialization. But little did the world expect that it would soon grow to be one big sensation. And in this age where the fear of missing out is driving people of all generations to try out everything that is new in the market the cryptocurrency trend is growing explosively.

Crypto trading started simply because the currency system of cryptocurrencies fluctuates very similar to that of the fiat currency system. When people noticed that the currency system in general fluctuates this was identified as a great option for trading. And then came the forex trading system. And now with cryptocurrencies operating without too many dependencies as with the general currency system, there is nothing to stop the value changes in these currencies. There is an ever-increasing demand. Businesses around the world are now accepting cryptocurrency payments. With all these happening the value of cryptocurrencies and the trading opportunities in these currencies have also been steadily increasing. So crypto trading is now found to be one of the most dependable trading windows for the beginners who do not know where to start.

Crypto bots- and the real scenario

Getting to the topic of crypto bots- they are now everywhere. While major world countries are discussing the need for regulations on cryptocurrencies in general and in crypto trading there is a long lineup of crypto bots that are penetrating the market and making their mark. Do crypto bots really work? Yes, they do- if not all of them, at least there are a handful of reliable trading bots that help the early stage investors in cryptocurrencies.

How do the crypto bots make the traders’ job simpler?

Most crypto bots like Crypto VIP Club work without having to download any software. These are offered as web-based applications that anyone who knows to use a computer can operate. In a few clicks, you would be able to sign up and create an account. And then in another few clicks, you would then be able to make your deposits and withdrawals. The rest of the job would be taken care of by the trading bot. These bots are designed to take care of the analysis of the market and thus they are designed to be good at making market predictions.

Enter the bold Jeff Siadek! His magnum opus, Battlestations, was originally released back in 2004 and certainly has a unique and special place in the hearts and minds of many gamers and designers in our community. Part role playing game, part board game, it puts players not just in a spaceship hurtling through the galaxy, but makes that galaxy a living, breathing thing that actively wants to ruin your day by killing you (or at least forcing you to respawn your consciousness in the body of a new clone). In a game where literally anything can happen at the discretion of a lone player acting as the enemy, how long can you and your teammates survive the inky blackness of space? And what happens when a much loved game gets a much-deserved reboot over a decade down the line?

Find out for yourself in this interview with Jeff Siadek – which you can get on iTunes or directly from this here link: – and check out the game on Kickstarter! It runs through until Thursday, March 3rd, and can be found at

As ever, thanks for listening!

Sweet Little Mystery: Codenames review (Czech Games Edition)

Party games still have that curious stigma about them, despite the leaps and bounds that the genre has taken over the past few years. Even with the rise of the juggernaut that is Cards Against Humanity (as well as the insane amount of copycat rip-offs that are still being released some three years after CAH first debuted) the vast majority of people, especially those who wouldn’t refer to themselves as gamers, will still harken back to to the dark era of Trivial Pursuitwhen it comes to playing something in a group that is deemed accessible by all. For many games companies out there, managing to tap into that market is something of a dream, but with the right alignment of stars, Czech Games Edition could well be in with the best chance of making the leap to mainstream success.

Crypto trading bots – what they do and what they don’t do

Crypto trading has been a trend that is becoming irresistible. Traders who trade with other trading instruments and even those who have never traded have gained a special liking towards crypto trading. The advent of the crypto bot trend is one major reason behind this. If you are new to crypto trading there are some basic bots like Crypto Code which are designed to be used in few simple steps.

It is perfectly alright to give the trading bots a try. But it is important to know how to use the trading bots, where to use them and where not to use them. The truth is that if you learn to strike the perfect balance then crypto bots are truly useful.

Where to use a crypto bot

If trading is your major source of income, if you are a professional trader then you might be spending a lot of time on it. With a lot of time for crypto trading, you can retain the decision making the task to yourself. You could simply automate the currency mining process or the placement of orders. But if you rely on trading as a passive source of income then you can definitely give crypto bots a try. Some crypto bots talk about making you a millionaire in a matter of days. This would be an unrealistic expectation to build.

Limitations of crypto bots

Even the best crypto bots come with some limitations. They are reliant on the code that is written. Bugs in the code would often be ruled out when the code is tested. But, as with other software tools, there are some glitches that might come up only when the real-time market data is being fed into the system. And the testing that is done to identify the effectiveness of the bot would be based on historical data which is not always a good indicator of the market data. The indicators used by the bot to take decisions would also determine how accurate the predictions are. If the bot has sophisticated machine learning algorithms with the option to select the most relevant features then this limitation is overcome. But there are very few bots in the market that come with machine learning or self-learning capabilities.

So know what the chosen crypto bot really offers and then set your goals based on the features and capabilities. This would help you plan your finances and know the financial goals to set.

There’s already a lot of love out there for Vlaada Chvatil’s latest game, Codenames, and frankly you’re not going to hear much dissent from The Little Metal Dog Show on this one. I first got to check it out at this year’s UK Games Expo where the game immediately was the subject of a fair amount of buzz – while not many people got to actually play it over the weekend, those who did manage to get around the table with the prototype were quick to extol its merits. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long for the actual release as copies were released at Gen Con 2015 and – of course – I was there to grab one on day one.

It is certainly something of a departure from Vlaada’s usual output. Codenamesdoesn’t have the complexity of Dungeon Lords or Space Alert, but for those who complain about its straightforward nature (and there’s been a small but vocal minority who have criticised the game’s simplicity), I’d say that they should remember that designers who stick with doing the same old stuff every time – medium to heavy eurogames in the case of Chvatil – generally end up seeing a marked drop in the quality of their output unless they start switching things up a bit. And don’t forget, he’s got previous experience with working on lighter material – the rather lovely Pictomania was released only four years ago, so the guy’s able to create interesting gameplay experiences without having to put together a usable 32-page rulebook as well.

Two groups are required to play Codenames, with a minimum of two per side – there are rules for a single-side, two player game, but two folks sat at a table really doesn’t constitute a party, does it? In the middle of the table sits a five-by-five grid of hobbit sized cards, each of which have a unique single word upon them – the codenames that give the game its title. These cards represent the agents that must be found by the teams, as well as unsuspecting members of the public and [dun-dun-duuunnnnnnn] an assasin that will ruin your day if they’re discovered (or at least this round of the game). From these two groups, each must elect a Spymaster who will lead the play; everyone else are the Spies who will be guessing at the codenames that are being alluded to.

Before play starts, the two Spymasters secretly check out a square Key Card that shows the positions of each team’s agents in the field of play. Flashes of either red or blue are dotted around the outside of this card, determining the side that will go first – both teams are looking for eight agents, but the team that goes first have their advantage somewhat nullified by the fact they’re also seeking a ninth double-agent.

In this case, the Blue Team are going first, but their advantage is lessened somewhat by having to find nine agents versus the Red Team's eight.

In this case, the Blue Team are going first, but their advantage is lessened somewhat by having to find nine agents versus the Red Team’s eight.

Agents are hunted down by the Spymaster for the active team saying exactly two things – a word and a number. The word must refer to at least one of your agents’ codenames, as shown on the positional Key Card, and the number is the amount of cards you’re looking your team to ‘contact’. So, let’s have some examples!

You could have an agent in play called Honey, which you could signal by saying “Sweet: One”. With that clue, you’re hoping that your team will make the mental connection and touch the card with Honey written upon it – that physical action must happen, by the way, or else the call isn’t official – but the trick to Codenames is to combine your clues to include more than a single agent. For example, if you happened to also have an agent called Hive, your clue could be “Bees: Two” – that single word can be linked to both Honey and Hive, and your teammates can contact each agent one by one, hopefully swinging the game in your favour.

If your team have successfully made contact with an agent on your side, the Spymaster takes one of the slightly-larger-than-hobbit-sized tiles of their colour and covers the correctly chosen name. This success allows the team to choose again, with up to one more attempt than the number uttered by the Spymaster for that side – so, that “Bees: Two” clue could lead to up to three selections by a team, assuming they get each choice correct.

Using the Key Card above, Blue Team could give the clue of "Animals: Four", but that risks the Assassin hidden under Lion being chosen, losing you the game. Much safer saying "Marine: Three" and hoping your team choose Shark, Whale and Ray! Three in one turn is pretty decent!

Using the Key Card above, Blue Team could give the clue of “Animals: Four”, but that risks the Assassin hidden under Lion being chosen, losing you the game. Much safer saying “Marine: Three” and hoping your team choose Shark, Whale and Ray! Three in one turn is still pretty decent!

An incorrect choice, resulting in either of a member of the public or – even worse – an agent from the opposing side getting picked, means that those cards must be covered by the necessary tiles and the team’s turn ends immediately, with play switching to the other side. Worst of all, if the Assassin is somehow selected, the team who chose it loses straight away and the Spymaster kicks themselves for giving a clue daft enough to include a cold-blooded killer in their midst. This little wrinkle in the game really does add an element of danger to playing Codenames, especially when both sides have made a few correct calls and the amount of options on the table grow fewer and fewer.

As you can see, rules-wise this is very simple little affair, but like all good party games there are a couple of elements that make things shine. There’s a delightful agony when you’re stuck watching your team consider your clue, then go in the completely different direction to what you thought you were on about; the Spymaster must not say ANYTHING apart from their single word clue and the number of cards, and even pulling anguished faces is frowned upon by the rulebook. You must remain stony faced, even if the other folks at the table are wandering down some ludicrous mental cul-de-sac and are getting dangerously close to tapping the Assassin’s name, throwing the game away despite your hard work.

From the opposite side, playing as one of the selectors is equally as entertaining; constantly trying to remember previous clues, making links between the slowly decreasing words on the table in front of you… it’s a lot of fun. There’s also the fantastic feeling of managing to correctly choose a set of names from a particularly good clue that links three or more cards in play – it’s a rarity but man, when your entire team is working perfectly in tandem, it’s utterly glorious.

Now, there’s always going to be a section of the population who simply won’t get on with how the game works. Links can end up being very tenuous and I’ve been involved in a couple of games where players simply don’t understand the Spymaster’s thought processes, but I find this to honestly be part of the fun. Codenames‘ scalability works very well – you can dumb down your clues a low as you need to, picking off agents on your side one by one, and there’ll always be a tipping point where the options have been pared back so much that you should (should!) be able to make a link between a couple of those still remaining in play. Managing to have your side pick up on this and choose two or more correct agents on one turn really does swing things your way quite drastically, and after a couple of games of relatively simplistic play to feel your way around how the whole thing works, you’ll soon find the Spymasters really striving to call out bigger and braver clues.

Production is relatively simple, but CGE have really pushed the boat out on the amount of included content to ensure plenty of replayability. With two-hundred double-sided codename cards in the box, the potential available combinations are huge. Expansions are surely being planned, and will hopefully be as inexpensive as this initial release – copies are available for a mere $20, making Codenames one of the real bargains of 2015. Even if your regular group maxes out at four players, I can’t recommend this one highly enough, but if you manage to get together with larger amounts of players once in a while, you won’t regret adding Codenames to your collection. I’ve found that more players means more confusion, and that leads to some truly entertaining discussions about what the Spymasters could be thinking about. It’s part Password, part Minesweeper, part mental torture, and you need to get yourself a copy of what will inevitably be one of the Games of the Year – you’ll honestly have a blast.

Barbarism Begins At Home – Imperial Settlers review

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably know that I’m in the middle of a move to the US. Everything is up in the air; I’m officially homeless, staying with friends as we grind through the slow process of immigration. All my stuff is in boxes – my games collection, my books, my consoles and my Mac… everything is just waiting to go across the ocean. Just before the packing, I was getting into the video game Civilisation V again and, cruelly, it has temporarily been taken from me. So sad. In the meantime, I need to get my civ-building fix from cardboard and the game collections of friends. And what have we been playing a lot of? The splendid Imperial Settlers from Portal Games, time and again.

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Why so much love for it from me? Well, I enjoy any game that is based around a well-crafted engine, and Imperial Settlers really puts its focus into ensuring that everything works beautifully. With an easy to grasp set of rules, over the course of the game’s five rounds you’ll start off small with just a couple of cards and a handful of resources that are used in order to make your side the most dominant around. You’ll also begin with a long cardboard punch-out which your tableau will be built around that also lets you know what resources you’ll pull in at the start of a round from a selection of wood, stone, fruit, meeples, cards, gold, swords and shields.

Each turn you get to do one thing – and that’s it. However, while sometimes that one thing may simple like sending a couple of your dudes off to fetch some stone, depending on how things go for you, you may end up triggering a glorious chain of events that will make your opponents either look on impressed or glare at you with a barely concealed rage. It’s that kind of game, where those who are able to make their engines run smoothest will invariably come out victorious. The best way to learn how to do this, of course, is to play – just expect to get your arse handed to you in your first few plays as you try to figure out what’s going on.

Cards! Hooray. I may have forgotten to take photos, so thank you to The Innocent on BGG for this one.

Cards! Hooray. I may have forgotten to take photos, so thank you to The Innocent on BGG for this one.

Four civilisations are represented in the base game – Barbarians, Romans, Egyptians and Japan – with each of them having their own small deck of cards. Every card represents a location that’s exclusive to the civilisation but there’s also a larger central deck that all players can draw from; your personal deck is just for you, though. Every card has a cost that needs to be paid to add it to your tableau, normally a mix of wood and stone, but some also have a little house on them, meaning you’ll need to sacrifice one of your locations that’s either been destroyed (we’ll cover that shortly) or is taken straight from your hand, losing you a valuable card in a game where it can be very tricky to get hold of them.

Said cards will be one of three types: either Production, Feature or Action. Production ones are nice and straightforward: at the start of a round they add to the resources you gain but also give you them the moment you play the card. Actions need to be triggered, usually at the cost of a meeple or resource, but will generally pull in either something useful (like more meeples and resources!) or get you a few points. Features are invariable the trickier things to work with, often being the cards that serve as the links that make your turns splendidly convoluted or allow you to say “…and I score ten points off this one!” at the end of a game. The best civilisations will normally comprise of a decent mix of these card types, but it’s entirely possible to win using whatever set-up you manage to put together – really, victory falls to the player who reacts the best to what everyone else is doing.

By reacting, I really mean “attacking someone else’s locations with the swords you collect”. Two sword resources will be enough to force an opponents to flip one of their cards over, losing their precious cog in their machine that will inevitably cause their downfall (if you’ve planned it right). Shields (or meeples acting as Samurai if you’re playing as Japan) can be used to up this to a requirement of three swords (more if you stack them) but at the end of every round, EVERYTHING is removed from the cards you have in play – but you’ll have destroyed something well before then, won’t you? Oh, and you may also get bonus resources from doing this too, as long as the targeted card has a reward for razing it.

This is what you should be aiming for. This is what I generally don't end up doing. (Thanks to The Innocent again for the image.)

This is what you should be aiming for. This is what I generally don’t end up doing. (Thanks to The Innocent again for the image.)

There are so many little things that put Imperial Settlers head and shoulders above other Civ style games; you can boost your Production by making deals and tucking cards upside-down atop your tableau. You can wreck cards from your own layout if you’re short of resources. You can use meeples to go grab stuff too. Basically, the game puts an incredible amount of control into your hands – you do what you want to do, either focusing on your own buildings or eagerly eyeing someone else’s. Each civilisation feels and plays very differently, but all it takes is reading through a few cards to check up on what special buildings they all offer and you’re immediately up to speed.

No messing – Imperial Settlers is a bloody brilliant game. Ignacy Trzewiczek has created a simple game which still somehow manages to give the players a huge amount of strategies when they’re creating their own little dynasties. It’s a lovely game to look at with a cute graphic style throughout – seriously, the dumpy little buggers that are seen all over the cards are ace, and there are lovely details throughout, my personal favourite being the weeping family on the Ruins card… I am nothing if not cruel. Everything in Imperial Settlers hits the right buttons for me – it’s a streamlined work of greatness which, when I get to play it, is just so bloody pleasing that I want to bring it out again and again. When I get to the US, this will be the first game I buy – oh yes.

Imperial Settlers was released in 2014 through Portal Games. Between one and four can play (because yes, there’s a single player version of the game built in which is also excellent) with games taking around 30-45 minutes. Yes, not only is it great, it doesn’t outstay its welcome! A copy will set you back £35, though you can get it for under £30 at Gameslore. There’s also an expansion called Why Can’t We Be Friends which I’m yet to try out, but reports from other, more experienced players say that it’s well worth getting. So yes. You should do that. Oh, and follow designer Ignacy Trzewiczek on Twitter! Do that too!