Episode 168: Cooper Island

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Cosmic Colonies, 100% Beef Showdown, Aftershock: San Francisco and Venice and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Cooper Island; and

3) Look back at Teotihuacan: City of Gods.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild.

Show Notes

00:01:01 – Trivia: A Brief Biography of Rocket Raccoon

00:08:10 – Season 3 Trivia Winner Announced!


00:09:28 – Welcome to out new sponsor Queen Games.

00:14:06Robb gets a haircut live on Facebook.

00:16:10 – COVID-19 check in.


00:26:09Aftershock: San Francisco and Venice * [Buy] – Stronghold Games; Designer: Alan R. Moon, Bobby West; Art: William Bricker;

00:36:42ShipShape [Buy] – Calliope Games; Designer: Rob Daviau; Art: Dhaniels Castillo, Andrew Hepworth, Ben Wootten;

00:45:25100% Beef Showdown [Buy] – JUGAME STUDIO; Designer: Yu Maruno; Art: Yu Maruno;

00:51:06 – Sponsor Message from Queen Games – Check out the Winter Kingdom Kickstarter now!

00:52:50Unlocking Insanity * [Buy] – Petersen Games; Designer: Tony Mastrangeli, Jeff Petersen; Art: Alyssa McCarthy;

01:00:16Cosmic Colonies [Buy] – Floodgate Games; Designer: Scott Almes; Art: Matt Bain, Matt Paquette, Tristam Rossin;

01:07:41Turn the Tide [Buy] – AMIGO; Designer: Stefan Dorra;


01:14:30 – Print and Play Games: Top 20 list on BGG, TheGamer.com, Rolling Realms by Stonemaier

01:18:30 – Asmodee/Dark Horse Comics Art Game Announcement

01:20:17Adventures in Neverland Kickstarter

01:21:33Frosthaven, what a freaking disappointment

Featured Review: Cooper Island *

01:26:50 – Rules Breakdown

Cooper Island is a 1 to 4 player worker placement game designed by Andreas “ode.” Odendahl with art by Javier González Cava and published by Capstone Games.  

A detailed rules explanation is beyond the scope of my 3 minute target, so let me summarize this way: Players will interact with three main areas of the game:  The first is their personal player board, on which they will manage resources, upgrade their ship and workers, unlock buildings, and manage their free actions. The second is their peninsula, upon which they will place tiles that will generate resources, score points through exploration and construction, and grant actions triggered by the passage of their ships.  And the third is the main worker placement area, where players will place their workers on a very limited number of actions spaces, often resulting in blocking other players out or being forced to pay another player for the privilege of activating the space.

There are a few main concepts worth noting here.  Resources are extremely tight, with the limited number of storage spaces on each player’s board being used to store both resource cubes AND single coins.  Extra storage space can be unlocked through various actions, including the Terra Mystica-like placement of buildings. Resources can also be spent from the player’s peninsula, and each player’s board has an additional Marketplace area into which other players may pay resources under certain conditions.  There are many unlockables here, representing various strategies towards victory, though it should be noted there is no way a player will ever unlock everything in one game. Difficult choices must be made.

The player’s personal peninsula is where a lot of Cooper Island’s action takes place.  Here, players will place hexagonal tiles representing several land types on the board – both spreading out from their home village to explore, as well vertically by stacking tiles – here called cultivating them.  Cultivated tiles generate more valuable resources.  Their peninsula is further enhanced by inlet tiles that jut into the water surrounding it, granting special bonuses when their ships pass over them – or when another player’s ship does the same.

Worker placement is tight and mean, with the various action spaces on the board receiving one of two types of workers: a normal worker, represented by a disc, or an upgraded worker, represented by a square.  Upgraded workers generally receive a bonus or discount to the main action, but are only obtained by sacrificing a regular worker to an end-game scoring objective card. Players will start with two workers, but more are gained as they meet certain achievements.

Many things players will do will grant them Helm points, which allow them to move one of their two ships around the shore of their peninsula and, eventually, the shore of other players’ peninsulas.  The distance their boat travels by the end of the game will be a major source of points.

Cooper Island plays over five rounds – which are tracked via Cargo Ship cards that are yet another way you can manage resources, collect points, and unlock bonuses – at which point the same ends and final scores are calculated. 

01:30:20 – Review

01:59:11 – Ratings


02:14:18Teotihuacan: City of Gods * [Buy] – Board&Dice; Designer: Daniele Tascini; Art: Odysseas Stamoglou;

Check out our original review for Teotihuacan during Episode 142.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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