Just in week starting 8/2/16

The latest Netrunner data pack Kala Ghoda landed through the letter box this week. Kala Ghoda is the first data pack in the Mumbad Cycle. A second pack of sleeves for Netrunner was also ordered to give me enough sleeves to use of that design.

Munchkin Gloom in its rediculous over sized box was picked up for a bargain price off the Facebook Trading and Selling Group.

Continuing my DVD trip down memory lane the 1949 serial King of the Rocket Men dropped through the letter box. This series is the inspiration behind the movie The Rocketeer. Which captured the whole feel, look really well.

Formula D is really getting under my skin. I love the game. Like Harbour I wanted something to use as a social media boast about winning. Hence the arrival of this little racing driver minifig.

Below are the extra sleeves I bought to sleeve my corporate deck. It was a little annoying and embarrassing to start sleeving the deck Tuesday before play only to discover I didn't have enough sleeves. Which forced me to play unsleeved.

I have to admit the FFG official Netrunner sleeves they produce like the four (I think it's four) official playmats look amazing. I just wish FFG produced a high quality Netrunner storage solution as WoTC do for MTG in the form of the gift boxes.

 

OMG what have I done?

I've only gone and signed up for the 2016 Regionals taking place on the Friday at the UK Games Expo.

Last year this event was the Nationals, but FFG partnering up with Esdevium a sister company in the Asmodee Borg stable are hosting the Nationals latter in the year now at a separate event.

Talk about jumping in at the deep end.

I've not even played in a store comp yet! But that will be changing soon thanks to the just starting meta in Chatteris, and my FLGS there The Hobbit Hole having the spring store kit on order.

Even with this regular venue to play games, I'm still a noob at the game.

So I'm expecting to just be cannon fodder for the much more experienced players, and proving just how strong I am propping the whole of the rest of the other players up from the bottom.

However this does give me a focus.

I also entered the Pandemic Survival Regional. This is happening on the Saturday. I'm hoping after reading this sentence that one or two of my fellow Fenland Gamers who are also going to the Expo will take the big hint and also sign up.

Pandemic Survival is an “extreme” version of Pandemic where 6 to 12 teams of 2 will face each other in an epic battle to save the world. Their goal: to be the first team to find all four cures, or to be the last team still alive at the end of the game.” (Taken from the link below)

Sounds exciting doesn't it?

The Pandemic Survival Nationals takes place the next day. I'm assuming this is going to be like a grand play off of the top twelve players from the previous day.

This is definitely an event that all Pandemic fans should experience I think (this is my first chance to take part in one). Take a look at this Z-Man page for a description of what the competition will involve.

There is a Lords of Waterdeep competition as well but I want some time to “chill” and buy games at the Expo.

So at least you know where to find me on the Friday and Saturday at the Expo.

 

Coming Next Week 15/2/16

So in my limited sphere of interests this comings weeks new releases hitting the shelves of your FLGS there is very little to get my attention.

However we will be seeing two more additions to Imperial Assault in the form of an Ally pack and a Villian pack.

I really must catch up with my looks at the ones I haven't covered that were released late last year. Let alone finish panting my Stormtroopers!

Machi Koro is a restock next week. If you are into the Pokemon CCG or Heroclix then you may find there is a little more out next week of interest than I found.

 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Second Wednesday of the month? Must mean it was that time of month for the regular Fenland Gamer meet up.

The five amigos of Jonathan, Debbie, Jo, Kate and myself met up once more to play games, share banter, and generally have an enjoyable evening with like minded people. Which is pretty worrying really because if the rests minds are like mine this world is in serious trouble.

Our evening of gaming kicked off with Formula D or as it correctly should have been called

Driving Ms Daisy the Sequel

We rolled the black dice for our starting grid positioning. Jonathan and Katie drew for pole position, which meant a face off for the coveted spot, while Debbie and I also were in a face off for the third spot, leaving Jo unchallenged for the back of the grid.

Katie took pole position in the end, while Jonathan was in second, Debbie was in third place, I took the fourth starting position, with Jo bringing up the rear.

After doing all the hard work to win pole position, Katie stalled her engine and was left stranded on the track. Jonathan was able to straight away press forward with this advantage to try and snag the lead, and rolled a one to draw level on the track.

Debbie and I moved closer to the front two, while Jo edged a space nearer, but still at the back.

Katie was stuck in first for her second roll of the dice, while Jonathan took an early lead switching to second. Debbie and I over took Katie.

After the first corner I took the lead away from Jonathan. Which I quickly squandered allowing Katie, Jonathan and Debbie to catch me up and over take me while negotiating the second and third corner. Jo was still, pottering behind in last place, looking good to claim the title of “Driving Ms Daisy” away from Debbie.

Katie started to pull away from everyone, while I managed to over take Jonathan and Debbie. The corners in this game are such a great leveller. Careful management of the damage to your car, can allow you to catch up and steal the lead if the others are being much more careful. It was this carefree cavalier attitude to damage as a resource that saw me coming out of the three stop corner hot on Katie's wheels.

Down the long straight Katie and I shifted through the gears opening up the gap between us and Jonathan. It looked like Jo and Debbie would be fighting it out for the Ms Daisy crown.

As Katie and I started to work our way around the final set of corners before the home straight, Jonathan caught up to us. Katie edged a space lead over me as we game out of the final corner. But I was in a higher gear than Katie. Katie rolled her dice, she was one space short of the finish line. If I rolled a sixteen I had won. I rolled a fifteen. But my inside line put me one space away from the finish line too, but ahead of Katie on the board. I'd won, I'd be rolling first.

I took first place, Katie nabbed an easy second, while Jonathan crossed the line for third.

But there was still a battle going on through the final corners between Debbie and Jo. Neither wanting to claim the “Driving Ms Daisy” title. Last corner Jo was set up nicely to make a dash for the finish. Debbie needed to push her luck to catch up. She over shot the first of the final two corners by thirteen spaces!!! Her engine blew up, she was out of the race. Jo finished fourth, leaving the burning wreck of Debbie's car on the track.

Debbie had successfully defended her “Driving Ms Daisy” title!!! Well I suppose it would be more accurate to describe it as begrudgingly accepted the title again.

My win meant that out of the two plays of the game, I had continued the record that the owner of the game wins the race!

Raw fish!

Our second game of the evening was the drafting, set collecting game Sushi Go! Which had the soy sauce promo shuffled into the deck.

I'm not going to go into much detail of this game, except to say that I proved to be the most greedy on the night, managing to scoff my way to a victory.

Oh wow, I'd won the second game of the evening too! I was on a winning streak. How'd that happen? Mind you it made a pleasant change to my loosing streak Tuesday night with Netrunner.

Our third and final game of the evening was

Alhambra

You could tell I hadn't played my copy before because the cards were still in the cellophane. Something that winds Jonathan up a little. Mind games people, mind games. I had thought of totally throwing him off his game and taking yellow also. But I just couldn't be that cruel.

We were playing with the Castles promo (which can be picked up from the bgg store).

After our first round scoring, I noticed that once more Jonathan was employing his hog the cards tactic, and then make a mad purchasing rush towards the end to snatch the win. Jo decided to employ the same tactic, which you can see in the photo above they have half the deck of cards between them. Ok I maybe exaggerating that a little, but they had a lot of cards in their hands. It was interesting because it seemed Jonathan was advertising the fact having the cards fanned out in his hand. I know that was for him to see easily what he had. But I suspect there was a bit of the magician in him that likes holding them that way too. Jo on the other hand almost seemed that she was trying to disguise the fact she had a lot of cards.

But you know what? Despite having a load of cards in her hand, Jo would say there was nothing she could do or buy!!!! Which we did call her on.

During the game there were a couple of times because Debbie went before me, that she blocked me by either buying a tile I needed/wanted or took a card I wanted.

Second round scoring, Jonathan still hadn't kicked his tactic in to top gear, and was still lagging at the back on the scoring. But I knew any minute he would start building a scoring monster for the final scoring at the end. The rest of us were all within easy striking distance of each other. But Debbie was just in the lead.

Something went wrong for Jonathan, the tiles weren't falling for him, others were getting ones he needed. Final scoring hit, Jonathan managed to over take Katie on the scoreboard, but he was unable to catch Jo up, and ended twenty nine points short of the joint winners for the game Debbie and myself on ninety points.

The evening ended with some talk about Kickstarter and policing the streets of Commonville before we parted our separate ways.

What a great evening, I had a winning streak, played some great games with great people.

Tomorrow another Streets of Commonville play through. ^__^

That One Moment…

Last night saw another duel of bluffs and counter bluffs at the Chatteris Warlords gaming group as I took on a new opponent in Android:Netrunner.

The first game in our head to head duel was my newly constructed NEH deck against my favourite Anarch Noise.

My opponent took an early lead scoring agendas, mainly from my HQ. I was landing tags on Noise, and did cause four meat damage with a scorched earth. I managed to score some agendas to bring it back to a five/six score, with the runner being the six. Noise made a run on my HQ with two cards in my hand, both agendas. Noise had won!

I know where I have to go with this deck, I need to think about the ice, and doing more once the tags have landed. But for a first effort I didn't think it did too bad.

Our second game was my Noise against Core set Jinteki Personal Evolution. I know that with the Most Wanted List hitting particular Noise staples there will most likely be an exodus from the ID for other more green pastures. But I'm not abandoning Noise. We were instant bff's, and I stick by my friends.

My Noise deck was unchanged from last week. I wasn't going to rush into making changes based on one game. Before I start “tweaking” the deck I want at least a couple more plays before deciding what to change to correct any perceived weaknesses.

I was really doing well with Noise, I had Wyldside and Pancakes install, Street Beggar had cards on it, I had used Inject a couple of times, economy could have been better, didn't help Aesop's got trashed early by my opponent.

But with Faust installed, an unprotected Archives (for a good majority of the game), an R&D which had been left unprotected for a surprising length of time, with Medium sitting nicely with six virus counters on it (before a virus purge was eventually done) I scored five agenda points.

However during this golden spell my opponent managed to land some net damage on me taking out a KEY card! My only copy of Levy AR Lab Access got thrown onto the heap, although I had worse did do its job and get three cards back into my hand.

Levy was my only way to recycle my heap back into the stack, and it was gone!!!

You can guess what happened?

I ran out of cards. All the servers were iced up, I had no cards to fuel Faust to get in. I had ground to a stand still. Five agenda points scored, while my corporate opponent hadn't scored anything yet, and I was having to concede the game!

Losing the Levy was basically the key moment of the game. I was breaking in to the main servers at will until I ran out of cards. The card draw, getting loads of cards in to fuel Faust all worked to plan.

So despite earlier saying I wasn't going to tweak the deck, I knew I needed to tweak it for this situation. My first thought was to add a second Levy to the deck. But on my drive home I kicked myself for being so blinkered. I didn't need a second Levy, I needed Same Old Thing instead. It would give me a lot more flexibility than having a second Levy.

So there you have it back to back loses last night. But you know what? I still had a blast. I love this game, plus there are plans to have a draft matchup using the FFG draft packs at the end of the month. I'm looking forward to that.

For those remotely interested here is my NEH deck..

Near-Earth Hub (Upstalk)

Agenda (15)

1x 15 Minutes (Data and Destiny)

3x AstroScript Pilot Program (Core Set) (MWL)

2x Award Bait (Old Hollywood)

2x Chronos Project (First Contact)

1x Explode-a-palooza (Old Hollywood)

1x Market Research (Fear and Loathing)

2x Private Security Force (Core Set)

3x Project Beale (Future Proof)

Asset (19)

2x Adonis Campaign (Core Set) ····

2x City Surveillance (Mala Tempora)

2x Daily Business Show (All That Remains)

2x Early Premiere (Old Hollywood)

2x Franchise City (The Universe of Tomorrow)

2x Ghost Branch (Core Set)

2x News Team (Data and Destiny)

2x PAD Campaign (Core Set)

1x Reversed Accounts (Up and Over)

2x Shannon Claire (Data and Destiny)

Upgrade (1)

1x Cyberdex Virus Suite (Order and Chaos)

Operation (5)

2x Media Blitz (Data and Destiny)

1x Scorched Earth (Core Set) ····

2x Shipment from SanSan (Second Thoughts)

Barrier (2)

2x Wall of Static (Core Set)

Code Gate (8)

2x Archangel (Data and Destiny)

2x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus)

3x Tollbooth (Core Set)

1x Turing (Breaker Bay) ···

Sentry (7)

2x Turnpike (Data and Destiny)

2x Uroboros (A Study in Static)

2x Pup (Honor and Profit) ··

1x Gutenberg (Breaker Bay)

Cards in deck: 57 (min 45)

13/14 (17-3) influence used

3 cards from MWL

Agenda Points: 25

Cards up to Data and Destiny

 

Patrolling the Streets of Commonville

At the end of my post on a playtest of the in development game Streets of Commonville was I'd like to try the game with less players. Last night that wish came true after our planned attempt at the month of March in Pandemic Legacy had to be rescheduled due to illness of a team member.

So last night Jonathan and myself patrolled the mean streets of Commonville, bringing justice and fitting up an innocent suspect for crimes they never did.

At Jonathan's request I filmed the game so that the play through could be later analysed by himself and his co-designer.

Since the play through last week there had been some “minor” changes to the rules and pieces.

I will say during our play through the dice really did hate Jonathan and me.

One of the most obvious changes is that Jonathan now had these fun little donut tokens to replace the printed cardboard ones.

The character boards were changed so that at the higher rankings you had a choice to make between having an extra dice or donut. The action tracking was now controlled by the roll of the “time” dice. I did like these two changes.

Technically the game won last night because we failed to arrest a suspect within the allowed time limit of the game. However we kept playing to see how much longer it would take us to complete the game (bottom left of the photo above, we used dice to track the extra game time).

I did feel that the game board was too large to explore for two players, and that maybe there needs to be a mid point board configuration between the full setup and the solo setup for two players.

Between the two sessions I had thought that the street tiles could be smaller, which Jonathan had already got in the works. Great minds and all that.

Surprisingly it took Jonathan and I approx 90 mins to finish the game. Although as I explained earlier we played until we completed the game. If we had kept to the rules and the game winning, I the game would have lasted about an hour (naturally that will be confirmed once the designers have reviewed the tape).

Although Jonathan had replaced the character tracking token, I thought to stay thematic the tracking token could be a wooden token in the shape of a cop (similar to the security guard wooden token in Burgle Bros. see photo below)

I think this would work thematically. The cop car riding round the streets of Commonville, and the cop figure for the character tracking.

At the end of the game Jonathan and I had a brief discussion about an ability that could be added for a character. It will be interesting to see if he runs with that one.

There will be another play through later in the week with three or four players, looking forward to that.

 

Custom Game Cards

So yesterday I remembered that some dude over on the Ashes Facebook group had created a card that was double sided to be used in keeping track which pile of dice was which. And I thought that this would be a handy thing to get printed. I should track the file down and find a place to custom print the card for me.

Luckily bgg is the place to go to find files related to a game like the rules, faq, translations of rules etc. It was on the Ashes bgg files section that I found the Ashes Dice Pool Cards file I was after.

Even luckier the creator of the file had approached Plaid Hat Games, gotten permission to link to the designs on a custom card printing site so that folks could just click, order and get the cards.

The site the guy was using was DriveThruCards.

site-logo-redesignd

At $0.09 a card these were incredibly cheap. So I ordered twenty to make the order worth while and to hand out to other players of the game when I come across them. Or to use as prizes in a store event if I can get one going. You can get the Ashes Card Pool card HERE.

Roll on this morning, and an email about Boss Monster hits my inbox, reminding me of the Create Your Own Card app they had developed. Guess where this app is being hosted? Yep DriveThruCards, so you can design your own card for Boss Monster and then get it printed!

It gets even better!!!! There is a Lost Levels expansion you can buy, plus copies of some errata’d cards that are as far as I can tell officially produced.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 11.36.57

And look at those prices! so yes they are also on the way to me.

But this got me thinking. If the people behind Boss Monster can produce errata’d cards like this, why can’t the likes of FFG also offer this service? I mean we have cards in Imperial Assault that over Christmas got errata’d to balance out the game. We also got the same with some cards in Netrunner in the form of the Most Wanted List and Wireless Pavilion.

Surely FFG could put up the images for people to get printed off if they wanted the corrected card? I see very little overhead here for them on this. They must have corrected cards ready to go in future printings.

At the moment there is no work around that doesn’t rely on carrying lots of bits of extra paper around, writing on the cards themselves with a Sharpie, or stickers.

Would either of the last two then make the cards altered illegal to use in tournaments? They would have been altered.

Maybe one day all companies will be enlightened as the Boss Monster folks on this sort of thing.

The Streets of Commonville A Playtest

Thursday night saw Jonathan play testing the game The Streets of Commonville with myself, Debbie and Les.

The Streets of Commonville is a multiplayer co-op update of the single player print and play game Inspector Moss: House Arrest. Which won the 2011 Solitaire Print and Play Contest on bgg, and was a 2012 nominee for the Golden Geek Awards Best Print and Play award.

Inspector Moss and Streets of Commonville are designed by the partnership of Jonathan Warren and Rebekah Bissell.

Which meant this playtest session we were playing with one of the designers. Not quite Eric Lang or Ignacy Trzewiczek but still a local hero and a pretty cool thing to be doing.

Before I go any further with this post two or three of the photos here are property of Jonathan who I “borrowed” them from.

The Streets of Commonville sees you working as a team of cops, uncovering evidence, finding suspects, and working to eliminate them from your enquiries, until you have one guilty suspect left.

At the moment the game uses a fixed board layout as suggested in the rule book. Apart from the centre tile, the rest are turned blank side up until players move around the board to new locations revealing surrounding tiles. A kind of fog of war mechanic. I like this hidden information, exploration element. When you reveal a tile, the players get to decide amongst themselves which way round the tile is placed. Although it helps that the other players show the tiles revealed on their go to the others while deciding the best way to place the tile.

I have been mulling with the thought since playing does this game need all the tiles used in the session layer out at the start. Or could the tiles be added as the game progresses and have a more organic, less predictable map, similar to the Zombie! game.

Jonathan showed us another version of the player board. Which I preferred, same number of upgrades but you have to make decisions on the bonus you get, between more dice or more donuts.

Below are my notes from playing the game that we were asked to make. Jonathan requested that I include them on the blog so they are easy to find and share with his co-designer.

My notes for Jonathan to refer to!

  • The player aid needs to have the turn summary on it.
  • There needs to be some way to record the colour of your character piece on the board. This could be just having the upgrade tracker being the same colour as the main piece.
  • There needs to be more options/ways for players to upgrade their characters. Time based upgrades?
  • The rules do need some work. I'd like to see an annotated diagram explaining the game tile.
  • There needs to be graphics in the rules illustrating game play and certain situations that may arise.
  • You could remove the placing of the street punks tokens at the start, add tiles with a symbol for the street punks on, and shuffle those tiles into the tiles used for the game. The placement would be more random then, allow more adjustment for the number of players in the game to control difficulty and opportunities to upgrade.
  • At the moment I think thematically you shouldn't be able to ignore the street punks. Enter a tile with street punks on, you have to deal with them first before being able to do anything else.
  • Currently you can pass as many dice as you like between players using your donut. If as planned this gets reduced to one or two based on the number of donuts you have, then the ability to upgrade becomes even more important.
  • Make the game real time? This would cure AP, or curtail it. There is potential for an alpha gamer in the current game, a real time clock may help control that too.

 

I enjoyed playing the game, at the moment it did at times seem a puzzle to solve of how best to optimise the use of the dice, who gets passed what to achieve the best possible outcome that turn.

But still there is the basis of a good game here. I'm looking forward to playing it some more, especially with less players to see how it fairs.

 

Early February 2016 Arrivals

I’m going to start with the new gaming arrivals.

  
Currently Amazon are selling Super Dungeon Explorer Forgotten King at around the twenty five quid mark, or just below. Which is an insane price because the rrp is just short of eighty quid. Why? I have no idea but those wishing to dip their toes into the water with this gaming system have no excuse not to at the moment. The price is crazy cheap.

Burgle Bros. is a co-op game where you are robbing a building while avoiding the guards etc. If I like this game the optional stand and red led lights will be joining the game. If/when that happens I don’t think you will believe how cool the game looks.

   
 
Next up finally despite the Wisbech Royal Mail my promos from Portal Game finally arrived. We have the doomsday machine army for Neuroshima Hex, plus two unaligned tiles that will be interesting to see how they shake up the game.

Plus the two tiles to use with Imperial Settlers and a card for the game (free bonus promo).

   
 
Next up we hit some Lego Minifig stuff. Using the bits that arrived I created a characture of my friend and husband to Amanda, Paul.  I’m just debating internally whether to paint the mullet black with grey highlights. 

Inside the box for the Red Shirt was the TaDa! Message. I just love the little touches like this.

Finally and very unusual for me, physical media!

  
Who isn’t a Thunderbirds fan? We know I have the Matt Leacock co-op board game based on the series (expansions still not produced yet, we might see them March!)

So guess what my plan is watch Thunderbirds and play the game.

The Flashing Blade brings back memories of Saturday morning tv, and part of a hit list of retro tv series from my childhood that I am sourcing. Luckily the stuff is dirt cheap these days.

Coming out next week 8th Feb 2016

I think it's obvious from previous posts I like the game Zombicide. I love the setting being present day, and recreating the Romero zombie movies. However some like Sam Heeley from The Dice Tower never jelled with the theme or the game.

Jump forward after last years release of Season Three of Zombicide, CMoN hit Kickstarter again with a variant of Zombicide setting it this time in a fantasy setting. Well backers have had their copy with all their exclusives, and now it's time for the rest of the world to get a chance to buy the game.

Finally for next week the rather excellent Pixel Tactics gets a fifth expansion and a storage box to house all the expansions and the game.

Well that's the releases for next week that caught my eye.