On Friday, Black Friday, Alderac Entertainment Group released the AEG Black Box.

We snapped one up from our FLGS, Harlequin Games, and dashed home to play it, stopping only to film a hasty unboxing video.

The box promised to contain 4 great games, and opening it up to see Trains by Hisashi Hayashi, it instantly proved to be worth the purchase.

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Trains is a mix up of deck building and territory management, yet despite it’s rather boring first appearance, it’s great fun, and rather simple to get into. Plus on it’s own retails at more than the whole Black Box. You can’t see my face in the video, but I was very pleased that Trains was the star of the show. It’s also quite satisfying to have so many things! Trains has 500 cards and 40 extra to help you sort them, 120 wooden tokens and a double sided board!
It plays in about 45 min & fits 2-4 players.

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Next up, Guildhall Seven Seas by Hope S Hwang. Not a game I’d heard about nor a game that at first glance I’d probably have bought. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun.

Its a pirate themed set collection style game, and a race to 20 VP. It’s the second biggest game in the box with 120 cards and 30 card tokens and was a game that took us a little while to get our heads around. Once you’ve gotten to grips with what some of the pirate cards do, and the ways you can combine these with the special cards you buy then it gets a little less confusing. Not the strongest game in the box for us, but a bit of fun for 2 to 4 players.


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After that there’s Doomtown Seventh Hero by Kuro. When I first saw this in the box, I didn’t pay too much attention to the second part of the name, and was a little excited thinking, not only do I have Trains in The Black Box, I’ve also got Doomtown; Reloaded by Dave Williams & Mark Wootton! This isn’t that game. It’s a reskin of Seventh Hero. A little similar in style to Guildhall Seven Seas, instead of recruiting a pirate crew, we’re recruiting a posse to take out a giant water dragon. It’s a quick set building game, there’s a little bluffing and remembering what the special powers are for some Dudes, and then working out the best ways to combine them in your posse. This is the smallest game in the box with 83 cards including the 5 reference cards.
Good, quick fun and sits 3 – 5 players.

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Lastly there’s Maximum Throwdown Overload by Jason Tagmire.
This was the weirdest game in the box, and made me think a little of 52 card pick up mixed with AEG’s Smash Up.
This is a card throwing battle game. Yep, you throw cards around the table. There are 6 different factions and 6 locations. Each player pics a faction, a little like Smash Up, you pick from Zombies, Wizards, Robots ect, and you collectively agree on the lay out of the bases. Then you take turns to throw cards onto the bases. The back of the cards have different icons in different configurations, different factions have different strengths, and you aim to cover up some of your opponents icons whilst having more of yours on show, so that you score more VP and can use more special abilities. It fits 2 to 6 players, but was more fun with at least 4.

That’s all the games!

Was it worth it?
Yes, I’ve already said so! I really enjoyed the game Trains, and we had great fun playing Doomtown Seventh Hero, the other games were great too, and if they weren’t over shadowed by the main two, would have probably gotten more love.

The box itself could have done with a better insert. Trains and all it’s cards takes up one side of the box, whilst Doomtown Seventh Hero, Guildhall Seven Seas and Maximum Throwdown Overload, still flop about in the opposite side. If you’re handy with a bit of foam you could make your own holder to fit things nicely, or could just buy a few Deck Pro boxes to put the 3 smaller games in, or just keep the box flat and don’t jiggle it too much.

I’d be disappointed if I was a hard core AEG fan to get this and end up with a duplicate copy of Trains though. But it was less than £40 so it was a BARGAIN especially if you consider Trains alone retails at around £50!

The additional games would make nice easy games to get into over the festive season, you can tell granny that Guildhall Seven Seas is kind of like a pirate version of Rummy and the kids will love flinging cards about the table. At least 80% better than fighting over Monopoly.

If your FLGS still has any of these left, seriously think about snapping one up!

We’ve only had  the weekend to play them, we’ll tell you more about them once we’ve played them a few more times.

Have you gotten one yourself? What did you think of the games?