Counter trays….Crazy about! (Part 2)

Welcome again with another little update on our counter trays.
As promised in our previous report, this time we will see also a couple of recently published eurogames so you can judge our counters’ adaptability with this group.

Empire of the Sun








Despite the large amount of components and cards, you may see how only 1 Aleph counter-tray can keep well separated and organized the entire warfare of the Pacific, so the box can be closed. Furthermore, the dimensions allow the tray to be kept on a side of the board to keep the components separated and organized, ready to be used.

Illusions of Glory








We thought to have seen already all the limit-situations, but this recently published title by GMT caused a little bit of a crisis. With only 1 Aleph counter-tray we were able to put all the units away, but all the information counters had no space at all and we put them in a zip-lock bag.  It is possible to do the opposite: keep the information counter in the counter tray (then put them on a side of the board for an easy use) and the units counters in separated zip-lock bags, so they will be more handy during the setting up.

FAB – Golan ’73

With this title, equipped with wooden blocks, 1 Camelot counter-tray is the perfect choice to organize all the components.

Time Crisis

Another recently published title with cards, mounted map and many big size counters. With 1 Aleph counter-tray we organized the majority of the components, with the exception of some counters that have been kept in zip-lock bags.


For the CoIn titles it is now clearly a fact the perfect symbiosis between 1 Camelot counter-tray for the game parts and 1 Aleph counter-tray for the generic counters, to be kept on the side of the board.  Also with this title full of components we were able to keep everything organized.

La Guerra di Gradisca

Let’s finish our little excursion about wargames (and similar) with this very nice Italian title, which with 1 Aleph counter-tray you can organize everything well.

Let’s move now to a couple of eurogames that we recently had the chance to play, and we very much enjoyed playing, that made us willing to see how our counter trays would work with the components of this group of games.

Kepler 3042






With only 1 Camelot counter-tray, space exploration has never been so well organized!
















Sadly the tiles dimensions of this game do not allow them to be put inside our counter trays, but 1 Camelot counter-tray for the components and 1 Aleph counter-tray for the resources to be kept on the side of the play area were particularly useful!




And that concludes this tour about our counter-trays.

Thank you for your attention and…. Keep calm and play games folks!

Counter trays….Crazy about! (Part 1)

Welcome again with our usual updates on our products!
Today we’ll take a look to our counter trays, paying special attention to the models Aleph and Camelot and how they can be used to keep the contents of some titles organized and divided.
In particular, of all the boxes “tested” by us, you will see how every box (with a very little exception) stays perfectly closed saving as much space as possible.

Twilight Struggle

For this test we used only 1 Aleph counter tray.
As you may notice, the width of the tray is shorter than the height of the box and on the side there is plenty of space to place up to 4 decks of cards. Furthermore in the picture you may see that there is even the Turn Zero limited expansion published by GMT.





Only 1 Aleph counter tray was used also for this test.
Although with Labyrinth the quantity of cards (for this test we used the basic box and the recently published expansion) stops the box completely closing (by almost 2 mm), you may see how all the parts are perfectly placed and in order.




1989 – Dawn of Freedom

“Twin” game of Twilight Struggle, it has similar game contents, but a larger number of cards.
For this test only 1 Aleph counter tray has been used.
In the picture you can see how everything is perfectly placed inside the box (there is even a little space left!).






Falling Sky







Let’s see how it goes with the CoIn games, in particular with one of the last titles published: Falling Sky.
This time we used 1 Aleph counter tray e 1 Camelot counter tray.
As you may notice in the two pictures, both the wooden pieces and the counters are very well placed, furthermore there is still space… so in the next few days you will also see the result with the box of Pendragon.


Successors III

This is a Legendary title which I particularly love. As usual we used 1 Aleph counter tray.
Excellent results!












Sword of Rome











Here we are (finally!) with our first stress test for our Aleph counter tray: Sword of Rome with its 5 decks of cards, thick counters and, above all, its mounted map.
Surprisingly only 1 Aleph counter tray was enough!
The fifth deck of cards was divided in 4 parts and the box closes perfectly, placing dice and control markers to one side in the space between the mounted map and the box! (see picture..)

Paths of Glory

Happy with the previous test (Sword of Rome), we did another stress test, again with only 1 Aleph counter tray: Paths of Glory with its mounted map, thick counters and 3 decks of cards.
As you can see, it’s another well-organized box, with dice and trenches [markers] placed between the folded map and the box.



Virgin Queen

Finally, to test a 3“-Deep Box with lots of counters, playing aids, decks of cards and mounted map, we chose Virgin Queen, using 1 Aleph counter tray e 1 Camelot counter tray.


Another excellent result!








And that’s all for now. We’ll be waiting for you for other tests of our counter trays, especially with some eurogames titles!

A Journey into Metras (Part 3)

Welcome back to our appointment with this last chapter on the exploration of Metras.  As we said last time, now we will have a closer look inside the turn sequence.

While the duration of a complete game of Metras is 5 turns, a single turn is organized in the following 4 phases:

  1. Market Phase
  2. Auction Phase
  3. Resolution Phase
  4. Collection Phase



At the beginning of the phase players can place the Allies from their reserve on any field they want.  Then they draw the new Action cards to be placed on the board depending on the number of players: 7 cards if there are 3 players, 9 cards if there are 4 players.

For the first 3 turns the cards deck I is used, while for the remaining 2 turns the cards deck II is used.

Finally, the pertinent Mission Card for the turn in progress is revealed (remember: it’s the card with the current turn number on its back).


Starting from the first player (for turn n° 1) or from the “Favorite of the Emperor” (from the 2nd turn on), the active player places one counter on the card which he wants to start the bid for and bets an amount of Influence Points between “0” and the maximum value available at that moment in his reserve.  Proceeding clockwise, all the players decide either to pass or place another bid raising the offer made by the last player.

The winning bidder pays the due amount, takes the card and places it on the action slot with the lowest number still available on the player sheet, but without completing the indicated action on the card.

Regardless of whether the player who started the bidding wins, the following player in the clockwise order starts the bidding for another action card present on the board, and so on until all the players have no more counters to place.


Starting from the “Supplicant”, the player who had the lowest Influence Points at the end of the last turn, the players, in turn, start to resolve the action on the cards won during the Bidding Phase one by one.  All players resolve in order and in turn the action cards present on the slot 1 and then on the slot 2 of the player sheet.



At the beginning of the Collection Phase, each player earns a total of Influence Points equal to the number indicated on the Wealth Branch of his own Family Card (player sheet). After that the roles of “the Favorite of the Emperor” and “the Supplicant” are distributed as follows:

  • The Favorite of the Emperor: this is the player who has the most Influence Points. This role also gives a huge advantage in the next Bidding Phase: he can buy the first action card of the bid paying the amount of Influence Points equal to 4 times the number of the ongoing turn (8 IP on the 2nd turn, 12 on the 3rd, and so on…) directly to the bank;
  • The Supplicant: this is the player with the least Influence Points. This role, although sometimes “unpleasant”, in reality hides a quite important bonus: he receives a grey counter and he will be allowed to acquire 3 action cards in the next Bidding Phase.

Once this phase is completed, the players are ready for a new turn!


As you may see, the turn is very simple and quick, but hides some little “tricks” to be taken into account:

  • the order of the action cards to be won is important, as well as to paying attention to the resolving order (considering that starts from the Supplicant);
  • manage as bes possible the bidding phase without exaggerating, considering that the “money” is represented by the Victory Points.

Obviously if a game does not go well, simply start a new one! In the end with 4 players, this is a game that lasts easily about 1 hour!…….ENJOY IT!

A Journey into Metras (Part 2)

Let’s re-start our journey inside Metras from the Cards, which are divided in Mission Cards and Action Cards.

Mission Cards, besides being used as Turn trackers, represent a particular mission of exploration that your Family could fulfil in the name of the Emperor.









On each card an Exploration requirement is indicated (on the top) and a reward in Influence Points (on the bottom). Eventually, as in the picture on the right, there can be an Action to carry out.

The requirement of Exploration represents the minimum scoring value of Exploration that your Noble Family must have.

The Action Cards which allow you to attempt a Mission of Exploration can increase your Exploration score for the purposes of meeting the requirement (as we will see later on).


The Action Cards, through their acquisition during the Bidding Phase, allow players to resolve actions shown on them during the Resolution Phase.

The Action Cards are divided in two types: Deck I and Deck II. The first deck is used for turns 1, 2 and 3, while the second is used for turns 4 and 5.

We can tell you right now that with 4 players, 3 cards in each deck won’t be used, ensuring in this way a certain variability of the games and a lack of certainty about the remaining actions in the deck.

Like for the Branches, cardsc are of 4 types, each of them is applicable to a different Branch.

Cards associated with Fame will simply  allow you to obtain Influence Points equal to the Fame Value of your Noble Family, multiplied by the number shown on the card.

Cards associated with Exploration are made in two parts:

– The value beside the sextant (on top) represents the multiplier of the Exploration score of your Noble Family according to the requirement of the Missions;

– The value beside the laurel (on the bottom) represents the multiplier of the Influence Points gained present on the Mission Card inside the crown of laurels. If the Mission Card allows you to gain other Influence Points thanks to the extra Action conceded, these will not be multiplied.

The cards associated with Wealth allow players to Recruit new Allies (picture on the left) or to take an action of Reorganization of the owned Allies (picture on the right).

– Recruit: the number beside the eye shows how many Allies are pulled out from the bag; while the number beside the hand shows how many of them can be kept and placed either on a Branch or on Reserve.  We would like to remind you that in every Branch a maximum number of Allied/Servants/Incompetents equal to the number of the on-going turn can be present.

– Rearrange: this action allows players to redeploy the owned Allies / Servants / Incompetents among the various Branches while respecting the limits given by the turn.  The scores of the Branches will be adjusted consequently.


The cards associated with Intrigue are the most dangerous and those ones which allow the most ruthless and direct interaction inside a game of Metras.

Intrigue allow players to target a rival Family which has a Wealth score less than the own Intrigue score (“less”, not “equal to” or “more than”!).

4 different actions are possible:

– Theft: you steal a number of Influence Points equal to your own Intrigue score from the rival Family, eventually multiplied with the value besides the lock icon and from the bank the same amount of IP, eventually multiplied with the value besides the coffer;

– Corruption: you steal an Ally (golden border) from the rival Family and you will place it immediately in one of your Branch, considering the turn limits, or in Reserve;


– Treachery: allows you to execute against the targeted Family firstly a Bribe and then a Theft (without taking away any money from the bank though);


– Assassination: you eliminate an Ally (golden border) of the rival Family from the game. The opponent will be able to substitute it with an Incompetent.


Last, but not less important, let’s take a look at the Allies, the Servants and the Incompetents, who will be placed on a side of a Branch, highlighting in this way the numerical value that will modify the score in that particular Branch.

Allies are the most powerful characters: they are very good in a Branch, capable in another, but lack in the other two branches.

Servants distinguish themselves with the colours of the various Families on the corners and with good scores in two Branches and poor scores in the other two, from those “non-starting” which have a value of “2” in all four Branches.






Incompetents are the substitutes of your dead Allies, and are quite hopeless in all 4 Branches, with a value equal to “1”.

Next time we will take a look in detail at the turn sequence and the various phases.

A Journey into Metras (Part 1)

Good morning everyone! Today we will start to publish a new series of articles to highlight and analyse the products of Aleph Game Studio, both the previous ones and those to be published in the next future. The purpose of this service is to give you the best possible view of each of our products.

In this first sequence of articles, we will focus on Metras, our next title to be published and our first ever Eurogame.

With these articles we want to give you a panoramic overview of the game and further knowledge some of its peculiarities, which give a good dose of profundity and strategic choices to face even keeping its duration very short (15 minutes per player, for a maximum of 60 mins).

Let’s have a look to the map board and its parts:

On the map board we can find the following areas:

The Mission Cards area which has also the purpose to keep track of the turn.

At the end of the Market Phase of each turn, a new mission will be revealed which will be possible to undertake in the name of the Emperor!


The Action Cards area.

At the beginning of every Market Phase, the new Action Cards will be placed here and will be subject to the next Auction Phase.



Here we can find the areas of the Servants and of the Incompetents (small squares), the discard pile of the Action Cards (empty rectangle) and the areas dedicated to the two decks of the Action Cards: Deck I (used for turns from 1 to 3) and Deck II (used for turns 4 and 5).




This is the area dedicated to the reserve Influence Points.



Let’s take a look to the Player Sheet:

As you can see it is made of some tracks and of an area in the centre for the Action Cards purchased in the following auction and the Servants/Allies in Reserve.

The tracks represent the four Branches of Skills of your Noble Family: Fame (on top), Exploration (on the right), Wealth (below), Intrigue (on the left).

To each of these Branches will be associated the various Action Cards (which will show the icon of the pertinent Branch for an easier reference).

Each Branch, on the edge of the Player Sheet, has spaces for the Servants/Allies/Incompetents. During each turn, each Branch may have maximum a number of servants equal to the number of the turn (1 for the 1st turn, 2 for the 2nd, etc.).

The central area is reserved to the spaces of the Action Cards purchased during the Bidding Phase, in order of acquisition and thus of use.

The two square spaces though host the Servants/Allies obtained after an Action Card. At the end of the turn they can be placed. Usually they are placed here for two effects:

  • There is no space in a Branch for that turn;
  • To protect them from Intrigue Actions (which steal or even kill servants).

But this part will be covered in the next articles!!!!!