Monthly Archives: August 2015

Bank holiday gaming

This afternoon Alison, Jamie and myself became shadowy figures pulling the invisible strings of power as we took on the roles of the Lords of Waterdeep.
Above photo courtesy of Jamie
Our game of Lords of Waterdeep this afternoon also used the Scoundrels of Skullport (SoS) expansion. Which was a first for me. Well this was only my second time playing the physical game, so it was bound to be.
The SoS expansion isn't a single expansion but in reality two expansions for the price of one. Between the two expansions they add three small boards to sit alongside the original playing board. Two of the boards add new actions for you to select from with your minions out doing your bidding. While the third is a corruption board that homes the corruption tokens that players get for doing some of the new actions, and tracking how many negative victory points those corruption tokens will be worth at the end of the game. Yes corruption tokens are negative victory points if you have them sitting in your tavern at the end of the game.
As I pursued a tactic of playing intrigue cards, getting lucky to have an intrigue card that protected me from intrigue attack cards and intrigue compulsory quests early on, I was able to secure a victory of 143 points I think it was in the end. I think I built one building in the end, that allowed as its action the ability to remove two corruption tokens from your tavern. Which once I had got rid of the four corruption counters I had accrued using this building and an intrigue card that also removed up to three corruption counters, using an intrigue card I had I was able to remove the building and replace it with another one for free. This stopped Jamie and Alison from getting rid of their corruption tokens.
I did play a shed load of intrigue cards. Which also gave me lots more actions than Jamie and Alison. On the last three rounds I also started amassing lots of coins, I ended the game with thirty five coins worth seventeen victory points, and twelve cubes, only five victory points from building, four completed scoring quests that got me six points per one, and three none scoring completed quests.
I was surprised how effective this tactic was. It felt like an aggressive tactic.
I really did enjoy playing Lords of Waterdeep with the SoS expansion. This will definitely be going on the wish list on bgg, and be high up on my priority list. In the meantime I will get the expansions for the iOS app, although they are two separate purchases.
Afterwards it was a “quick” game of Netrunner (yes I took my decks with me on the off chance, I had tweaked them – details on tweaks to follow in another post).
The first game was Noise up against Jamie's Jinteki. I lost this match up due to net damage wiping me out. I had three servers to choose from, I went with the middle one that was a trap. If I had gone either side I would have scored an agenda.
Second game was NBN taking on Kate. I won this when Jamie did two runs on R&D hitting two snares! On the trot and wiping himself out with net damage. The first time he hit the snare! I only had three credits so couldn't pull the trigger. But second time the pop up window guarding R&D gave me that fourth credit I needed to do the net damage and the win.
Thanks Jamie and Alison for a great afternoon gaming.

A Visit to The Hobbit Hole

Midday saw my first visit to The Hobbit Hole in Chatteris. When I arrived at Chatteris I thought I may have to google the shops location, but it was easier to find than I thought, because I drove right past it on my way into the centre looking for it.

I have to say I liked the friendly helpful owner, who welcomed me to the shop, let me browse and was helpful and gave me info on local gaming groups in the area.

The small band of I'm assuming regulars who were playing the Warhammer Conquest LCG were also friendly and helpful.

I enjoyed my first experience at the shop. I can see myself going back to the shop on a regular basis. Chatteris is roughly a thirty minute drive for me, free parking when I get there. So a lot more convenient for me than Peterborough.

The range of games on sale isn't as comprehensive as other lgs. But that will improve I'm sure.

Yes I may have parted with hard currency while there so let's look at my guilty purchases.

I blame the contents of the photo below on my mate Duncan and his “nagging” to paint my miniatures. Yes I admit I set it as an aim for the year to learn how to paint figures. So ok, you can argue that Duncan was only helping me to meet an aim of mine.

Plus the main reason I made this trip to The Hobbit Hole was to see what painting stuff they had in stock. I have to say the owner and the shops resident painting expert (sorry can't remember his name) were really helpful in advising me in what I needed brush wise as a starter, and initial paints for painting storm troopers and zombies.
The above photo is proof I am a weak willed fool, who has no self control. I swore to myself I was going to skip the Age of Ultron set of Dicemasters, because of the insane release schedule Wizkids have. But heck if I didn't crumble and buy five boosters for this set.
Which now means I'm going to have to buy the starter set, and then the inevitable gravity feed!
The nice thing is that The Hobbit Hole has just got in some of the OP kits, so will be hosting some Dicemasters OP soon. The owner did say that he is easy to beat, that the one or two of his regulars who play have the likes of Gobby.
Easiest way to combat this and even up the playing field is make the OP events draft only. Having played draft at the Games Expo earlier in the year, this is a fun format to play. Ok so you pay a tenner to enter but you are getting ten boosters worth of cards of the latest set.

Out This Week

A once in a random time section to a post that I thought I'd run. It won't be everything coming out but stuff I've been waiting for.

First up according to the Esdevium (Probably the main distributor of games in the UK) weekly coming out newsletter is Machi Koro Millionaires Row. This is the second expansion for the popular card game of city building. The question is how big will the box be?

Valley of the Kings Afterlife is also out this week. A standalone game and can also be used with the original Valley of the Kings game. No new mechanics to learn for players of the original.

Tides of Time have to admit I was confused by this one unless it's a restock because I thought it had come out earlier in August.


Kayn Somos Trooper Commander

As regular readers know I've just got the expansions that basically make up wave two for Imperial Assault. So I thought I'd do a series of posts looking at each of the individual expansions that go to make up this wave.
The first expansion we will look at will be the Villian pack Kayn Somos Trooper Commander.

Below is the Kayn figure. I really like this sculpt. I think it really captures a commander in its pose. I really should get the stuff in to paint the miniatures, or at least attempt to paint them. My friend Duncan keeps dropping big hints to me on Twitter about getting my act together on this front. And I have to say he is doing a good job of painting his zombies for Run, Fight or Die!

Below are the two skirmish cards for those that play skirmish games.

Kayn comes with the following three command cards. As a Team Covenent always say (it's almost a catch phrase for their Imperial Assault players), “Command cards win games”. As expected these command cards are all related to manipulating stormtroopers. Boy do they beef up Stormtroopers.

Next we have the two deployment cards for Kayn. Once again on the Kayn card we see actions that are aimed at manipulating Stormtroopers around him. Will Kayn make a Stormtrooper Storm a thing? I'd like to see a Stormtrooper only squad with Kayn in a skirmish game. How well it would do I don't know. Besides I think for me to try it out I'd have to buy another base game to get the figures! Ok that's not as crazy as it sounds, I've been toying this over for a month or two. Especially if I can get others playing the game locally on a regular basis. Oh how cool would that be to have a skirmish league running?

Now we have the Agenda cards that are used in the campaign game. I can't comment on these because I've not played the campaign side yet.

Finally there is the rule sheet that has a new skirmish map, and a campaign side mission. I won't show the campaign side so not to be too much of a spoiler.

I have to say I like Kayn. This expansion keeps up the high quality that FFG are known for. He will be a definite inclusion in any squad that uses Stormtroopers. I don't see how Kayn wouldn't be included. A great addition to the Empire forces.


An Unofficial Fanpage for Ashes

Ok I've not got the game yet (I'm hoping Plaid Hat are posting real soon). However that hasn't stopped me starting up a new Facebook group called “The Unofficial Fanpage for Ashes Rise of the Phoenix Born“.

I'm hoping that this will become similar to the fan pages for Star Realms, Netrunner and Dicemasters a hub for fans of the game.

At the moment it's pretty lonely on there because it's just me. But then hey I only created the page five minutes ago.

I also need to find some photoshop skilled people to create a header image for the page.

So if you are interested in Ashes or a fan of the game come join me over on the new fanpage.


Dark Titan

Surprisingly, well to me anyway, the Castle Panic expansion I did have sent to my home arrived this morning. Which is kind of cool, because I wasn't expecting it until next week.

Let's have a look at the box for The Dark Titan expansion. It's a nice smallish box, which I know is important to some. Sometimes publishers use way too big boxes for their expansions and for the main game also.

Ok let's show you the contents of the box as they come straight out of the box.

So that's whetted your appetite for more I know so let's use my bad photography skills (I really should move the Lego off my printer/scanner so I can use it) to look at the components in more detail.

The basis for this expansion is Agranok The Dark Titan is returning and wants to make you suffer for building your castle on sacred ground. Other than that the main objective of the game hasn't changed. It's still defeat all the monsters while having at least one tower still remaining.

You will need the base game to make use of this expansion, and it can also be used with the other expansion for Castle Panic The Wizard's Tower.

The rule book details how to integrate this expansion in with the base game and/or The Wizard's Tower. Which looks a real simple thing to do, and is basically the removal of various tokens depending on the setup you are playing.

This expansion introduces a new term “banish” which removes a card from the current game.

So that you can tell which of these components make up this expansion from the base game and the Wizard's Tower expansion the tokens and cards have the following symbol on them.

First up here are the Castle cards that the players will use to help defeat the oncoming onslaught.

The only card I think from the above that needs further looking into is the Cavalier card. When the card is played you add the cavalier token (shown below) to the game board in the arc of the players choosing in the swordsman ring.
Once a player has played all their cards, the cavalier is then moved. The cavalier can either be moved and then attack, or attack then move. The cavalier looks like a game changing addition to the game, and much needed considering what is coming to attack the castle in this expansion. The cavalier has two hit points of damage he can deal out to monsters, and has two health points. And like the highlander(weak movie reference) there can only be one cavalier on the game board at any one time.
All five of the Agranok cards have the same back.
There are five Agranok cards, at the start of the game one is chosen at random and placed face down (showing the above face) so that no one knows which version of Agranok has been drawn. That's a surprise for later in the game when Agranok returns. The pips on the cards represent the difficulty level of that particular version of Agranok. One being the easiest and five the hardest.
But Agranok doesn't come alone. He brings with him (well I'm assuming it's a he) some elite highly trained veteran warriors. When normal hit cards are used against elite warriors they are able to avoid the attack! Which as the tokens shows if you roll a one or two, the attack misses. Slippery devils.
The Boom Troll is a nasty little so and so. When killed it explodes and does damage to all monsters in the same space as it. And it is definitely one you don't want exploding in the castle.
Not all the new tokens are negative. There are three new tokens that if they get to the middle give an immediate benefit to the players. This can be extra damage to monsters (Reserve squad), rebuild walls (Stonemason's Cart) or drawing extra cards (Supply Wagon). These support tokens can also attack monsters in the same space. So very handy.
Oh these plague tokens are not nice at all. Red plague appears all players must discard a red card, same for green and blue. While that nasty nasty banish token removes (banishes) the top card of the castle deck from the game entirely. Knowing my luck when playing that would be the cavalier card.
What would the end of days be if there were not heralds to warn of its impending arrival. The first three heralds when drawn are placed in the appropriate herald space on the back of the Agranok card. Each time one is placed that effect is immediately resolved. And if you scroll back to the image they are not good effects. Once the third herald appears Agranok makes his grand appearance in the game and the card is flipped over to reveal just how bad ass Agranok is.
The fourth and five heralds act slightly differently depending on whether Agranok is alive or defeated.
As can be seen Agranok is a tough s.o.b. and is hard to kill. Slay cards only do four points of damage and then are banished from the game! Flipping to his wounded side causes players to discard at random a card from their hand. Plus other bits that make him hard to kill. Then when he is finally defeated the victory does not get to lord it over Agranoks vanquished body, oh no, it disappears in a puff of smoke. When this guy hits the board you are going to be saying a few swear words for sure.
Now don't you go thinking that the Dark Sorceress is a soft touch. When she makes an appearance, players have to discard a card of their choice from their hand, and while in play their max hand size is one less.

Wow this looks like an epic expansion in such a small box. I can't wait to play this with Nath. I haven't covered all the rules or effects each token or card does. But it looks like there is a lot of game play here and it will ramp up the pressure even more. I'm excited about getting this to the table.

I hope you have enjoyed the look at the contents of this expansion.


One Big Cluster

This should of been my view yesterday (archive photo)

This is what my view ended up being for several hours.

Yep I was all loaded up for a visit to Nath. Castle Panic, Imperial Assault (plus the new expansions), Star Realms, King of Tokyo in the car ready. Even my Amazon order that I placed first thing had been set up to deliver to Naths for Saturday (Power Up expansion for King of Tokyo, Wizards Tower for Castle Panic, and Lords of Waterdeep). All I had to do was get to Naths before five pm, we would then spend a pleasant evening at an Italian restaurant with friends, and spend the rest of the weekend gaming.

Before I left Wisbech had the tires checked. Needed a new one, which they didn't have in stock so ordered and paid for four new tires, and booked the car in for eight am Tuesday morning for them to be put on.

I was making good time, I had left Wisbech centre of the universe at eleven am. I got to the bypass round St Albans at one. That's when things slowed to a crawl. Due to road works on the bypass it took nearly an hour to get round on to the M25. Then as usual the M25 was its normal car park, finally made it to the M40, where surprise surprise there was another jam. Two hours to do a 30 minute at most stretch of the route.

Then at three pm just out side Maidenhead on the A404(M) the front driver tire blew. It wasn't the one that needed replacing! I couldn't get the spare tire out from underneath the car. So had to call out the recovery people.

The recovery bloke arrived an hour later, got the spare tire out, then discovered that the spare tire was the wrong size! This was the spare tire that the garage I bought the car from nearly two years ago had put on the car because it was missing a spare tire when I bought it. Should have guessed they would muck this up.

Good grief so the car was going to have to be recovered. Which meant having to go all the way back to Wisbech. Four new tires were waiting for me there. No point getting recovered to Naths.

Then the wait set in, waiting for a recovery truck to take me back to arrive. I feel sorry for the recovery bloke because he can't leave me due to some warped duty of care thing until the recovery truck turns up.

So as I sat in the car waiting, typing up this post, running the battery down on my phone with Instagram updates, checking email, playing the odd game of Lords of Waterdeep and Star Realms on my iPad. The recovery bloke was sat in his van equally twiddling his thumbs to pass the time.

At just gone six the recovery companies call desk phoned with a great scam, they could arrange for a company to come out to me to do the tire, but it would incur an out of hours charge! I politey declined this kind offer to lighten my wallet.

Finally the recovery truck arrived at 8:24pm!! Yeah do the maths folks, nearly five and a half hours.

The guy tasked with carting my sorry butt back to the deepest fenlands had actually heard of, and been to Wisbech. He'd had an aunt who once lived there. The aunt had retired to Wisbech or as I used to call it as a kid “Gods waiting room” (there were a lot of old people it seemed when I was growing up) to spend her twilight years.

Once loaded up my only request of the driver was to be able to stop at the nearest place I would be able to answer a call of nature. Yes I was nearly at bursting point. First bit of luck for the day for me was this stopping point was five minutes drive from my breakdown spot.

With the world feeling a better place we started the journey back to Wisbech. The journey was uneventful, a bit bumpy and boy was the seat uncomfortable.

I navigated the recovery guy into Wisbech for some reason his satnav was going to take him in a long way to mine. The final time of coming to a stop was eleven thirty four. Did I say I was knackered?

The car unloaded, paper work done, farewells said, I was back in the house and collecting the dogs from Nan and Mum next door. Then straight to bed. It had been a long disappointing day.

I've got the car to sort out today, the adventure continues.


I’m back

So I'm back after a day of drunken debauchary at my friend Amanda's wedding, followed by a day of chilling.

I'd like to say that I needed the day of chilling because my drunken antics were of legend that would put Motley Crüe and Guns 'n Roses to shame. But the reality was I went I have a snooze at around 7pm, and woke up at 11:45! Which meant I missed tea and the wedding cake. So not exactly rock and roll.

The truth is more that I needed the day of chilling because all of a sudden I'm old.

In closing this brief segment I'd like to wish Amanda and Paul a long and harmonious marriage. It really was a magical day. Thank you for inviting me to share this special day with you and your loved ones.

I was going to stay an extra night, but I made the mistake of calling home. Mum had broken down at Aldi, so I needed to get home.

However Greenflag had got to Mum and recovered her home by the time I hit Wisbech. However back at home the following was waiting for me.

Yep the wave two expansions for Imperial Assault arrived. Just in time to take with me to Naths. Which also means with the Star Realms Cosmic Gambit expansion I have a small backlog of “indepth” looks to do.

Oh and before I forget for my fellow Star Wars fans you may want to nip over to The Humble Bundle website and get the new Audiobook bundle they are doing. They have a cool collection of Star Wars audio books to get which includes the awesome radio plays of the original trilogy movies. Click HERE to go get them.

The Game of Thrones boardgame hasn't arrived yet, but is due any day (fingers crossed).

Plus this week the kickstarter project for A Chaotic Life! – A Hectic and Strategic Game of Poor Choices by Grubton Games has started shipping out to backers (that's me ^_^). So hopefully in a couple of weeks it should be with me (shipping from the U.S.)


How Beautiful Is Risk:GoT edition?

You have to go look at the video of the new Risk A Game of a Thrones edition that the folks over at Boardgame Geek recorded at GenCon nearly a month ago now (it's only gone up today).

The game looks stunning. The publisher appears to have done a really good job in the whole look and presentation. I definitely want to to get this even more now. It will be interesting to compare it with the GoT boardgame.

You can view the video on YouTube

Star Realms Stuff

Hot in from the U.S. of A is the Star Realms stuff I bought off some-one that attended GenCon and had spares.

First up the Blob Fight promo for GenCon signed by Robert Dougherty (Lead Game Development on Star Realms). This is super cool and AWESOME. And yes I am that easily pleased and impressed.

There was also a Mercenary Garrison card. Which seeing as I already have will be finding its way to Naths Star Realms cards for his birthday.

Then finally there was the GenCon Preview edition of the upcoming Cosmic Gambits expansion.

If I get a chance over the next couple of days I'll do a post looking at the cards in this new expansion. However I'm at a friends wedding tomorrow and not sure what the internet situation is like at the venue (which I'm staying at until Friday).


Last Nights Runs


So last night Windy and Tag You Are It got to go up against decks from Jamie again.

First up was Windy taking on Jamie's Jinteki deck. My first five cards drew “I've Had Worse” and Trope, but no Aesops or Hive Mind or Virus Breeding Ground, not even a whiff of Djinn. I was really undecided about whether I should mulligan to try and get the Aesops. Although Trope was a card I wanted early also so I could start building up those power tokens to allow me to shuffle back in more cards from the heap back into the stack.

I thought bugger it I'll play this hand and use the “I've Had Worse” to draw three cards in hope of drawing at least an Aesops. But nope that wasn't to be. And my card draw didn't get any better after that either. I did score an agenda from Archives, but I had shuffled my deck too well and everything I really needed just wasn't coming up.

This was a really easy win for Jamie.

Game two was the same match up again. This time I got Aesops early, my economy was working better, the milling was going. I score a one point agenda, Jamie score some agendas. I finally run on Archives with the milled R&D cards sitting there so tempting, waiting for my grubby runner hands to reveal their secrets. I use up all my credits to get through the ice to steal Archives secrets.

OMG jackpot three agendas! I score one, another single agenda point. The other two are three pointers. Bugger both require a Psi Game. No cash. Jamie asks me to how much credits I have. I reply none. Feck Feck Feck. If only I had two credits left. No way I was going to win these two Psi Games.

But I knew what had to be done. It was now a race between me and Jamie. Jamie advanced, advanced a server. I built up credits to enable me to run Archives again the next go, and have some left for the Psi Games.

Advance, rez… Game over. So close!

Third game Tag Your Are It against Jamie's Kate deck. I know where I lost this game. It was the moment I decided to hide an agenda in an unprotected Archives, thinking Jamie wouldn't run it, because who would be so stupid as to hide an agenda in an unprotected server? Obviously the answer is me.

Why did I hide it in Archives? Well I didn't want it sitting in HQ, Jamie had been making runs on there, and I didn't have a protected server for it to be installed on.

So guess which server Jamie ran on and get a cheap, no free agenda? Yep Archives.

This NBN deck has potential I think. As I said in yesterday's post I need to revisit the ice. Maybe look at the economy side also.


NBN Tag You Are It Deck

Following on from yesterday's post about my “tweaked” Noise deck that I have given the name Windy, here is my first attempt at an evil corp deck.

Please remember when thinking “why hasn't he used/included such and such a card?” I have all the data packs up to the latest one from The SanSan Cycle Old Hollywood. The only Deluxe expansion I have is Order and Chaos. So if the card is from one of the Deluxe expansions I don't have then you know why. If the card is one I have then please let me know in the comments below how I can improve my evil corp deck, along with which card you think it should be replacing.

The identity I am using is the NBN Making News identity.

Making news gives me a minimum deck size of forty five cards and an influence of fifteen to use on out of faction cards. It also gives me two re-occurring credits to use on traces. Which basically means whenever I initiate a trace on a runner it automatically is two stronger before I add anything additional to it.

As I have previously said and as the name I have given this deck suggests, this deck is all about tagging the runner. But it's no good tagging the runner if I am not going to do anything with those tags. This is why I've included operations like Closed Accounts (screws with their economy) or Shoot The Moon (I get to Rez ice for free). Snare! just gives me another way to tag the runner, and trash cards in their grip.

I believe Jackson Howard is a “standard” in corp decks, and gives me some extra card draw, and a way to move some cards from archives (discard pile) back into R&D (deck). Marked Accounts and PAD Campaign (another “standard”) are all about my economy and giving me funds to install and advance stuff.

Primary Transmission Dish is another economy card but this time acting as another mega boost for the traces. Get this out with my identities ability that is plus five to all my traces! Adonis Campaign or Sexy Bot as it is referred to in the TeamWorkCast game commentries pure money in the bank! Breaker Bay Grid is there to help reduce the cost of rezzing ice and assets etc.

We are now coming onto the section of my deck I'm the least confident about. And very very likely needs the most work. It's the ice I'm going to be using to protect my servers.

I think if I was going to spend the remaining influence points that I have it would most likely be to add ice from other factions I think.

Finally we are onto the twenty agenda points I have to have for having a forty eight card deck. Even if I was at the minimum card count of forty five I would still be required to have twenty agenda points.

I have reached the twenty point total with eleven agenda cards. Which means 22.9% of my deck is agendas. Is this too high a ratio?

If the runner leaves the tags on and I score Private Security Force, it could be game over for them. Or if they are tagged when I score Market Research it gets an extra agenda point! So instead of scoring as two it becomes three. That could be a game winning condition.

So forty eight cards, twenty agenda points, and four of my available influence points spent.

Now to play these decks in anger against another player. Which is happening this evening ^_^



Windy My Current Noise Deck

In this post I thought I would cover the cards in the latest interation of my Noise deck. For the record I have all the data packs up to the latest one from The SanSan Cycle Old Hollywood (see yesterday's post). The only Deluxe expansion I have is Order and Chaos. I still need to get Creation and Control plus Honor and Profit. In fact I need to make that a priority I think.

So my Noise deck is forty six cards. Uses nine of the possible fifteen influence points. But I know, what have I used to make this deck?

So I have the following in my deck:

So the plan is to mill a lot by installing viruses, cashing them in with Aesop to get some economy. Hopefully get the Hades Shard installed early to allow me to access the corps archives to steal some juicy agendas. It's always a game of chicken with this, just how long do you let that archives pile up before pulling the trigger? Djinn will allow me (as long as I remember it does this) fetch viruses from the stack, while Deja Vu and Trope allow me to get cards out of the heap back into my grip or the stack to go through the cycle once more of install and pawn.

I also have some nice cards there that allow me to beef up the virus cards with virus tokens very quickly. Plus one or two that allow me to install more than my memory allocation will allow. Plus I have card to give me card draw and counter meat and net damage.

Because milling is the main tactic of the deck, I'm calling this deck Windy after Windy Miller from Trumpton ^__^

Top of My Livng Room Cupboards

Well games need storing somewhere, and I'm running out of space!