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Amber (Durham, UK)

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Cargo Noir Board Game
Cargo Noir Board Game
Offered by 24/7 DIRECT
Price: £27.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Learning outcome: Don't order games with something big and heavy as they may get packed together with little protection..., 3 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cargo Noir Board Game (Toy)
Game was ordered with a 12-pack of bottled drink and it all came together wrapped in a single box, with only packing paper to stop it rattling about too much. It was remarkably intact considering, but there is a big dent in the bottom of the box. Fortunately it is only really visible from the inside...


Merrell Moab Ventilator, Men Low Rise Hiking Shoes, Brown (Walnut), 7 UK (41 EU)
Merrell Moab Ventilator, Men Low Rise Hiking Shoes, Brown (Walnut), 7 UK (41 EU)
Price: £48.25

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supremely comfortable; Now on my 6th pair..., 13 July 2011
Moab Vents are lightweight walking shoes from Merrell. Waterproof, they are robust enough, yet lightweight enough for everyday wear with Vibram soles to ensure they last well and are comfortable. I wear shoes down very rapidly and these have lasted much better than most, but even more importantly, they were comfortable from the first trial. I believe they are available in several different colours, but the Walnut are suitable for me to wear every day to work with jeans. I have been buying them for four years and am now wearing my 5th pair with a spare pair in the cupboard! I would recommended them and, given that I have now spotted several people independently wearing them in my department, I guess others would agree.


Ticket to Ride Europe
Ticket to Ride Europe
Price: £27.93

207 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Trainy" enough for him, but not too "trainy" for me, 4 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Ticket to Ride Europe (Toy)
We got this game because the other half likes trains and we enjoy playing games (both together and with friends), so this seemed like a good mix and different to our other games.

There are several different versions of this game, including the original Ticket to Ride (which is US based), but we chose this one as the map is of Europe and we read some reviews that said it is easier to learn, teach and play than the original. I don't know about the original, but this is certainly easy enough to learn.

The basic idea is that players draw tickets (say London to Frankfurt) and then you have to connect these two cites along pre-set routes on the board using small plastic trains and by playing coloured cards. You frequently have a choice of routes, and you don't get points for "directness", only for being able to get between the two locations on the ticket - If you choose to go via Moscow that's up to you. You also get points for longer steps, so Edinburgh to London is a longer step than Berlin to Essen, thus it costs more (in terms of cards and plastic trains), but you get more points. The more tickets you can satisfy, the more points you get, but there are penalties for tickets left in your hand that you can't use.

In terms of the game, it takes upto about an hour and a half, depending on number of players, how long people take to think and their strategy - we typically take about 45 mins for a two player game. There is a resonable amount of luck involved, but quite a bit of strategy and although the game plays well with any number of players, it is most chaotic with 3 or 5 players (due to a very clever little rule change). For a family board game, it is not cheap, but you do get quite a lot of quality bits for your money (including 45 plastic trains per player), and it's a well thought out game with a big board and lots of cards with a nice feel to them.

In summary, it's a good game that's not just for Christmas and has a lot replayability. If you like playing "modern Euro boardgames" (ie games, typically from Germany, with a little more to them than Monopoly and Cludo) or have a thing about trains, then this is definitely for you. However, if you haven't exerienced modern boardgames, there are other, cheaper options to try first (like Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan etc.), but this should be next on your list once you are addicted.

In our view, although it's not cheap, it's well worth the money!


Carcassonne
Carcassonne

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted!, 17 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Carcassonne (Kitchen & Home)
We were looking for a game to rival Settlers of Catan and in this game I think we may have found it...

As stated by others, the premis of the game is that you build a map of the cities, roads, cloisters and farms of Carcassonne by drawing and placing tiles. When you place a tile, you can also place one of your marker people (or meeples) on the tile to "own" particular features (a city, road, cloister or farm). When these fetures are completed the owner of the meeple scores points. Superficially, this may seem quite dry, but in practice it can be very strategic with players trying to take over particularly cities and farms that "belong" to others and prevent opponents from building.

However, the real strength of this game is the scalability and ease of play. It is a genuinely excellent 2-player game that scales well to more. Additionally, it is really easy to teach to others, since the rules are basically as stated above. Finally, if you like slightly heavier games (or really get into it), there are a number of expansions, which develop the basic game, make it last longer and add complexity. This expansion mechanism means that it is still easy to play a basic game with new players, while retaining the more complex game for more experienced users.

We are completely addicted and it gets full marks from us!

NOTE: This review refers to the original version of Carcassonne, but there are a number of spion off games such as "Hunters and Gatherers", "The Castle" and "The City". We only have experience of Hunters and Gatherers and the original flavour, which we prefer as we find it easier to see the features on the tiles and feel it is more versatile in its use of expansions. However, Hunters and Gatherers is better value for money in that it you get slightly more tiles and pieces and it is analogous (in terms of rules) to the original Carcassonne plus the first expansion, so is prefered by many people. We have played both though, and prefer the original, ideally with some of the expansions (probably Inns and Cathedrals, Traders and Builders and/or the Count).


Mayfair Games - The Seafarers of Catan Expansion
Mayfair Games - The Seafarers of Catan Expansion

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great variant to a great game, 9 Nov. 2006
You will need the basic version of "Settlers of Catan" before you can play this game as it is an extension and uses some of the tiles and other pieces.

That said, it is a really interesting extension and adds a lot more variety and variation. Assuming you know the original "Settlers" game, "Seafarers" adds more "Sea" tiles allowing you to build an even wider variety of boards with islands. In this variation, you build "trading routes" which can cross the sea using the additional "ship" pieces. Depending on the game, there is also an interesting twist to the rules, where you can start with a "hole" in the board and fill in sea and island as you go, crossing the great unknown.

If you enjoy "Settlers" and play it frequently, this expansion is a must.


No Title Available

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It even came out well compared with an SLR..., 17 Oct. 2006
We hummed and hawed a lot about replacing our old digital camera and once we decided to, we didn't know what to get. We boiled it down to a choice between this one and the considerably cheaper IXUS 60, but went with this one because of the image stabiliser and increased zoom (x4 compared with x3). We still don't know how much difference the £70 made, but we *are* very happy with it. Considering our dreadful old camera, it's no suprise the IXUS 800 IS looks really good, but there's more to it than that.

Firstly, it's intuitive and the basics are very easy to use and understand (we were playing imediately, with only a glance at the manual to check out the battery info). Secondly, we did a comparison with a cousin's Canon EOS SLR and although it lost (not suprisingly), considering the price and size/weight difference, it compared very well. Finally, in a comparison with a new-ish Kodak digital belonging to a member of the family, the quality of the photos, the functions, the feel and ease of use really made us appreciate what a good camera this is.

Initially, while messing about with the EOS, we realised the versitility of the modern digital SLR and thought perhaps we'd made a mistake. However, comparing functions and snaps we found that much of the functionality and quality of the EOS is also present in the IXUS 800 IS. For example, you have very similar settings for night, indoors, beach, snow etc.; you can display the balance histograms in a similar way (and they looked smoother in similar conditions, presumably because the 800 IS does some processing); and in manual mode you can control the exposure/shutter time and the "ISO". Obviously, with the EOS you can change lenses, have more control over a lot of functions and the resolution was better (8MP compared with 6MP, but seriously, when are you going to view a picture at a scale to notice?!?!). Also the view-finder on the 800 IS isn't great because it's not designed to be used all the time. But on the whole we were suprised how well it *DID* compare. Since there is of course a lot more paraphernalia with the EOS (to say nothing of a much bigger and heavier camera) the trade-off is the increased control/resolution etc., for a smaller lighter camera (and something over £500!). Clearly if you want an SLR, that is the way to go, but if you want a nice little camera that takes good photos that you can carry about with you everywhere you go, this comes a very good second.

Pros:

A really nice little camera that has a good "quality" feel;

Easy to use;

Lovely sharp images;

Lots of functionality, but a simple "Auto mode" to get started with and intuitive manual mode;

Fabulous big LCD screen;

A Li-ion battery that goes on forever with its own separate charger;

Lots of control in manual mode (but you will need to read the advanced manual to work out how to use all of them).

Cons:

Mainly the accessories you have to buy (no case, a nasty wrist strap and a small memory card - This is true for almost all digital cameras on the market, but bear in mind we spent over £50 on accessories);

The advanced manual comes on a CD so you have to print it yourself and when you do it doesn't fit sensibly on an A4 page;

Little warning when the battery is about to fail, so it's a good idea to get a spare;

Manually controlling light metering and focusing is fiddly, but if you want to do much of that get an EOS!


Jewels in the Crown
Jewels in the Crown
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good album..., 27 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Jewels in the Crown (Audio CD)
This was the first Fairport album I bought and the fact that I still buy them says a lot. While it's not outstanding, I found it very enjoyable, in particular "The Islands" which is about the Braer oil tanker which sank off Shetland. On the whole however it is typical, sound Fairport fair from the post Sandy Denny era.


Unity
Unity
Price: £8.70

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb album..., 3 Sept. 2002
This review is from: Unity (Audio CD)
John Tams is best known among the general public as the "shaggy guy who sings" from the "Sharpe" films. This does him a serious injustice - over the years he has been a member of a number of bands (including "The Albion Band" and "Home service") and has been very involved with a large number of theatre and radio productions, both musically and as an actor.
All this has given him a phenomenal amount of experience. For this reason his first SOLO album (he has been involved in countless compilation albums or as a member of a band) is superb. Testament to this are the two awards it won at the BBC folk awards in 2001 - best album and best song ("Harry Stone").
If however, you think folk is not your thing, don't reject "Unity" out of hand. This album is immensly approachable from almost any aspect largely due to the way it tackles modern social issues that affect us all. This coupled with Tam's unique voice lends real feeling to the songs - somehow, you know this is a guy who cares.
All in all, Unity is a fantastic album, full of feeling, it can be enjoyed by people from many musical persuasions. Highly recommended...


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