Friday Evening Gaming: Mine all Mine
Friday Evening, I discovered that a copy of “Mine all Mine” by IDW had shown up. Clearly stamped “Demo”, it begged to be played. I sat down, opened it up, grabbed a friend, and started on my way.
Mine All Mines is detailed as “a dwarven mining game” and its packaging is actually quite eye catching. The box can be a bit deceiving; it appears that this game is a deck-building game – it is not.
In the game Mine All Mines, the players are tasked with using their dwarven team to mine gems and gold. The players use these items to purchase other objects of desire, and attempt to fulfill the requirements for achievements. Each of these items and achievements are worth a number of victory points. The game plays a number of rounds equal to the number of players (except for two players); at the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is declared the winner.
Initial preparation is actually quite easy. Even with the unwrapping and separation of the beautifully made gemstones, we were up and running inside of five minutes!
The rule book gives an example of how you should be set up. You will quickly realize that this may not be the best setup available. Unless all players are sitting on one side of the table, you will have to figure out a setup that will best use your table space.
Speaking of table space, you will probably want a bit of it. While, once you are proficient with this game, there is quite a bit of card stacking can be done; you will find your want to keep all your cards with abilities in full view. This takes up quite a bit of space if you do not stack your cards.
(The rule book gives instructions of setup. We found that this set up, if you have the space, is much better for all players involved.)
The basic game play is actually quite simple; it has what I feel is the correct amount of luck and competent skill. At the beginning of each round of play, each player discards (at random) members of their dwarven team. The remaining dwarves determine what abilities (moves) the player may make in the turn.
There are elements to enhance your abilities to gather gems (there are actions to assist and hinder other players, as well). The rules of the basic elements of play are extremely simple to understand, and it helps the players get started fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, anything other than the basic elements of play are woefully under presented. The rulebook, as written, fails to address many of the more complex elements of play – and it is clear that this is not intentional.
For example: there are rules and effects which enable the player to remove gems from the area known as “the market”. There are no rules present, however, as to if/when “the market” replenishes the supply of gems available.
Another example of rules that are missing cover card effects. Players will be left wondering whether these effects may be used once a play, once a round, or as many times as the player chooses. (We, for our demo play test, played as if each card could be activated once a turn. Incidentally, we also replenished the market once each round.)
These simple omissions make playing the game with anything other than the most basic of modes and stratagems to be near impossible; or at least require each group to interpret the rules on the fly.
Cleanup is a snap. Since each of the players cards are in use at all times, getting them together is a cinch. Each of the cards also has a symbol on the front to tell the players what deck the card came from; separating them is simple. The box insert seems to fit all the components with minimal effort.
This game is one of the games that I enjoy. It is very simple to get started, and simple to teach. It has elements, however, that lead to relatively complex plays and strategies.
The lack of certain clarifications can (and will) lead to the need to adjust the rules on the fly; in some groups, this could lead to negative feelings as some players may feel that the rest of the group is targeting them due to their overall play (or attitude).
This game is best played with three or four players; though the game is best taught with two.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.