Cockroach Poker

Hope you brought your poker face, well Cockroach Poker might not be real poker, but it's a game that revolves entirely around bluffing. It makes a great filler game for 2-6 although, I wouldn't recommend with less than 4, they do have two player rules but I did not find them very fun. With 4 or more you have a really fun and more importantly quick bluffing game.

The object is to not be the loser, instead of having player elimination, the game is over as soon as one player is eliminated in Cockroach Poker. How do you get eliminated? Easy, by gathering 4 of the same kind of creature face up in front of them first.

So to recap the objective of the game is: to make someone get 4 of a kind before you, you do NOT want four of a kind. These cards need to be face up in front of you, not just in your hand.
You do not want 4 of a kind!!!! One of the 4 cards does
not have a huge glare in order to lose the game.


To start the game the entire deck of 62 cards is shuffled and dealt out evenly to all players. Then the first player picks a card and slides it facedown to anyone they want. As you slide your card you will declare what kind of animal you are sliding, the goal is to make that person guess wrong. So if you slide someone a stink bug, but declare it a 'bat' and the player you gave it to accepted the card, believing it was a bat, he would have to place the card that you "pawned off on him" face up in front of him. If the player calls your bluff, then you instead have to take the card face up in front of you.
Slide a card to another player and declare what it is, in this case a "Bat"
The player accepted the Bat only to find out it was a Stink Bug! That player
must now keep the Stink Bug face up in front of him along with the two
scorpions that were already there. 

After you pass and declare a card to a player they do have another option if they cant decide if you are telling the truth or bluffing. They can choose to peek at the card, declare it as a creature and pass it to another player. If you are the last person to pass on the card you have to make a decision if it is what people say it is, this can get really tricky because with 6 players they could have said it was 5 different things by this point.

Ending the Game

The game ends one of two ways, as I said earlier if someone gets 4 of a kind they are the loser and all other players win. If you have to start the round, by sliding one of your cards to someone, and you don't have any cards left, you lose the game and everyone else wins.

My Thoughts

Although the components are just cards with  8 different types of bugs, rodents and insects they are phenomenal. The art work is fantastic and not a single card has the same art! If you like bluffing Cockroach Poker is great, if you haven't tried many games with bluffing give this a try, if you need to kill some time its great.

Who would enjoy playing Cockroach Poker?

All Gamers: Why? Because who doesn't need to kill 15 minutes at some point, waiting for friends to show up? waiting for pizza? waiting for another game to end? Cockroach Poker can be played whenever wherever, its fun, its fast, its simple, its competitive, and its very unique because not many games have only 1 loser.

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Todd where have you been!

I know I know it's been over a week since I posted any meaty content, I apologize, Life happened. My camera is in getting cleaned and I have been busy apartment hunting which I wish I could say was going better. I have a couple games reviewed just no pictures to go with them and I don't like using other peoples pictures, so hopefully this weekend I can find some time.

If you didn't catch the first part of my games night guide you can check it out here. There will be another part that will help you make your games night unique coming down the pipeline, as well as more similar guides to things like: Online Board Gaming, Board Game Storage etc.

Anyways I am just really busy, but I am here and I will try to get some "stuff" done to share with everyone, maybe even some apartments I've looked at.

Thanks for your patience.

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Rune Age

With the amount of deck builders on the market how do you decide which to buy? Do you go with the flawless gameplay, numerous expansions but rather dry theme, or do you go with a more thematic combat driven fantasy deck builder? My advice, try the later path, you won't be disappointed.

Rune Age has rules for 4 different ways to play, 100% Cooperative, 100% player vs player, a mix of both and 0 combat.

Unlike other deckbuilders, there are two different types of currency in Rune Age. Gold and Influence. Gold is used to buy new cards from your faction to add to your deck and influence is used to buy neutral cards. Influence can also be used to keep cards in your hand instead of discarding them at the end of your turn, the cost is 1 influence per card kept. Rune Age also gives players 2 card pools to build their deck from, a personal one and a card pool neutral to all players.

Personal Faction Decks

Every player is given a Home Realm card based on their faction, this card is used to keep track of the damage done to you. You start with 20 hit points and if you reach zero you lose.

These are examples of units that are available from a faction deck. Their cost is located in the bottom right, and their combat value in the top left. These units are different for every faction, however they are not all useful in every scenario which means your card selection is fairly limited.


Gold works like other deck builders, it is shuffled into your deck and drawn randomly. You buy gold with Influence and there are three different values available.

Influence works similar to land in Magic the Gathering. You gain influence from cities and instead of discarding a city card after it is used for its influence, it is kept in front of you and turned sideways until the beginning of your next turn. The number inside a circle and surrounded by crystals tells you how much influence each city generates.

Faction City

These cities are found within your faction deck, and although their names are changed, their value and cost is the exact same for all faction. You can either buy one of your faction cities for 4 gold or take it over with a military strength of at least 2.

Neutral Card Pool

Every game there will be neutral cities in addition to your faction's cities, in order to gain control of a city you must play cards from your hand with an equal or greater strength than the city. The trick to cities is that you can take them off other players, in order to do this you must tie or beat the city's strength value PLUS any combat cards the defending player chooses to play. Note that some cities also increase your defense value (the number under the influence value) if you are attacked, this is especially important in the Cooperative and Pure Player Combat versions.
Neutral Cities
Neutral Cards
These vary depending on the scenario and are range from units to combat enhancements to additional card draw. Neutral cards are purchased with Influence Points but otherwise function the exact same as cards purchased from your faction deck. The symbols in the bottom left match with specific game scenarios and are used for initial setup.

The event deck: This mechanic is not unique to other games but is still nicely executed in Rune Age. There is an event deck and after all players have gone there is an event turn. Some of these cards affect all players while others effect only the leader. The backs of the event deck match specific scenarios, and the coloured circles below the seal show what stage of the event deck the card falls into. The stages are shuffled and stacked so that 1 is on top of 2 etc.


Although Rune Age is a deckbuilder that doesn't mean it can't have outstanding components. I like all the artwork, the coloured seals on the backs of the event decks are a nice way to quickly organize and break out for each specific scenario. The tokens in Rune Age are fairly generic, but did not tear when I punched them out and they are not overly small. The game comes with 1 custom die that is nothing special and hardly worth mentioning.

Who would enjoy playing Rune Age?

Casual Gamers: Because you can easily tailor Rune Age to your specific tastes, it's essentially 4 games in 1, it has awesome replay value. Pretty much no matter what you're looking for in a deckbuilder, Rune Age can do it. Deckbuilders are already friendly to casual players, Rune Age is very accessible because of the different ways you can play it and that is the most important part of a 'casual game' to me, how often/easily does it make it onto the table. However because of the limited card selection, and limited expansion selection there are nowhere near the amount of combinations that you can find in other deckbuilders, lots of cards work great together, but this still might be a put off for anyone more serious than a casual gamer.
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Page/Blog Updates

I finally got around to updating some of the pages on the Board Game Barker, my last few reviews have been added to their appropriate pages, the main ones that got updated were Mid-Heavy Games and Intro Games.

I also added a new page 'Games For 2' the focus is on games that play very well with 2. Not on games that only play with 2, or that play best with 2.

I'm going to take this time to encourage everyone to go to they have some awesome dicussion every day about the games we love and hate, I much prefer the discussions that happen in /r/boardgames over BGG.

It's going to be a big month for the Board Game Barker, I have way more games than I have time to write about but I spent yesterday narrowing down which ones I wanted to cover. I thought I would stick to my pattern of reviewing some smaller, less travelled games as well as a few party games, heavy games and a even throwing in a cult classic! On top of that I have more updates to come to the front page including a new and hopefully very helpful 'Gaming Tools' page.

Hope you take the time to subscribe to the Board Game Barker one way or another, there’s going to be a lot going on here in March.
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