Monthly Archives: October 2015

Friday Gaming Part 2


This evening Jonathan, Debbie, Jo, Jonathan's Dad, and myself got together to play the worker placement game Brew Crafters. Where we play as brewers trying to build the best brewery in the city.

I'd never played Brew Crafters before, while the others had played it once or twice previously. However it was pretty easy to pick up.

My tactic for the game was to try and keep developing a seven repetation point local brew, and make sure I had enough money at the end of each of the three winter stage to pay for my resources. I did manage to get three of those seven pointers. During the second year I spent a couple of turns trying to bloke Jonathan getting enough money to pay for his brewery resources, and force him to take out loans to pay for them. This would have forced negative points onto him. However Jonathan managed to get just enough money to avoid having to take out loans to pay for stuff.

The final scores on the doors…

As you can see it was pretty close in the middle.

I enjoyed playing Brew Crafters, the theme comes across really well in the game. I like the two stage mechanic of each season. Sending workers to the market to get get resources, like hops and malt etc, followed by then choosing a production action like make a brew, or do research. And then you could also collaborate on a brew too to gain extra money and repetation points.

So another great evening of gaming, can't wait for the next gaming session. Oh wait that's tomorrow…


Gaming Friday Part 1

This morning I made a trip to my FLGS The Hobbit Hole in Chatteris. They had put aside for me the latest three Heroes and Villians for Imperial Assault, so it was time to pay and collect.

I hit Chatteris at nine, an hour before the store opened. So I found a really nice little coffee shop, had a rather nice cheese and ham omlette with a latte for breakfast. The cake also looked very very tempting, but I resisted (shocking I know).

But even after having breakfast there was still time to kill before The Hobbit Hole opened. So I did some window shopping of the shop. It was at this point I spotted a copy of Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalker on the shops shelves!

This visit was going to be more expensive than I had planned.

Every time I've been to The Hobbit Hole it has always been welcoming. The owner opened up the store a little early for me, when they saw me outside. Which with the crap weather outside was much appreciated.

As my purchases were being put through, the owners seven (I think) year old daughter came down and started to distract her mum. So I asked her if she played games with her mum and dad, and what her favourite was. The little girl went straight over to a table in the middle of the store with Seven Wonders on it and said this. She had been playing it all week since they had got the game in.

The little girl then said she was going to ask if I wanted to play Seven Wonders. So after paying for my stash of gaming goodness, the three of us sat down to play a game of Seven Wonders, with the daughter called Sam in her pink Disney princess dress teaching us both how to play, because her mum had not played the game before.

It was pretty cool being taught by one so young. Apparently Sam also plays Magic, and participates in the Friday Night Magic stuff.

Sam royally thrashed both her mum and I at the game.

This was definitely a pleasant turn of events for the day. Seven Wonders is one of the games I have wanted to try, and I thought my first opportunity would be at the demo/tournament day that is going to be held at The Hobbit Hole mid November. I'm still going to the demo day, but now I know I'll have a good time. I just hope I don't have to face Sam in the tournament, my money is on her to win it

Dabbling With The Darkside

I had always said I'll not touch Magic with a barge pole. The whole CCG thing wasn't for me. It's a money pit, especially if you want to be competitive. It's one of the reasons I like the LCG format.

However I do enjoy watching the Spellslingers show on Geek 'n Sundry when they show it, which is a Magic the Gathering show. Plus when it was announced that Heroscape was finally getting re-released in the form of Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers, I thought cool I've wanted to try Heroscape but it's another one of those games that's out of print and goes for silly money.

So temptation in my way I was going to cave and get the Heroscape update with the Magic theming.

So why did I buy an intro Magic deck? I thought I can be a casual player, I can handle it. I'll just dip my toe in the water. It will help me get more into the theme of Arena of the Planeswalkers. That's the thought process of this addict anyway.

Below the stuff I actually visited The Hobbit Hole for.

Then finally the latest volume of The a Walking Dead graphic novel dropped through the door. So my weekend reading has been arranged.

Keep an eye out later for Part Two of this post where I try my hand at being a craft beer brewer when I take part in a Game of Brew Crafters.


End of October 2015 Arrivals


With the arrival of the deluxe expansion Creation and Control for Netrunner I am now briefly upto date on the deluxe expansions and data packs for the game. However the latest deluxe expansion Data and Destiny seems to be hitting the store shelves, so maybe you could argue I'm not.

Codenames is one of this years “hot” games, but that isn't why I got it, however all the fuss over the game is how it came to my attention. Codenames is another potential game that I can use with my students. The game plays two to eight players, and is definitely a game that will get the students interacting with each other.

Finally the game that has just destroyed the second hand fleecing of its earlier release. Yep Fury of Dracula third edition. Whenever I saw reviews of Specter Ops (still to be gotten to the table) Fury of Darcula was always one of the benchmark games it was held up against. I was never going to buy the second edition at the crazy prices to see what all the fuss was about, but with the printing of the third edition I can at a much more reasonable price.


Half Term Gaming

So yesterday my order from BGG arrived. The order consisted of the promo character cards for Pandemic, plastic brains counters and the Joker promo cad for the DC Deckbuilding game.

The Pandemic character cards behave “slighty” differently from the regular character cards for the game. Here is the description of the cards from the BGG store:

Each card is double-sided, meaning there are four roles included, two of which you can use in any given game.

Card 1: Epidemiologist and Operations Expert

Card 2: Generalist and Medic

The key difference with these promo characters is they lose health when cubes are added to the city they are in, or if the city they are in outbreaks. If all four health of a promo character is ever exhausted, the players lose the game. This increases the difficulty of the game.

It seems an interesting twist for playing the game. I look forward to playing with them.

Now the Joker promo is interesting! Because I don't have the DC Deckbuilding game, and I have no intention of buying it. When I tried the game I didn't like it at all, it is far far inferior to the Marvel Legendary game. So why get this promo? I'm a fan of the Joker. So had to get it really.

So the brains were bought for one reason. That was to pimp out Zombie Dice. So instead of using a scrap of paper or the official score pad to track players scores, I will now use these brains instead. Which I think is really thematic for the game and a lot more fun.

Fenland Gamer Open Gaming Evening

Last night saw another Fenland Gamer mid week get together. While waiting for Mat to turn up, the evening started off with four of us playing…

Bang The Dice Game

I've been wanting to play this game for a while. I have three copies of the game! Ok there is a reason for this, but I'll get to that in a minute or two.

With four players, Bang the Dice Game has a sherif, two outlaws and a renegade. I've pimped out the game with the Lego Minifig Sherif figure that goes to whoever has the sherif card. This is the only known role in the game, the others are all hidden, and each has their own win condition.

So as one of the hidden roles you have to work out who is on your side and who isn't. While the sherif knows everyone is out to get them, they have the “easier” task, stay alive, kill the others.

We played the game that whoever was the sherif last got to shuffle and deal out the four role cards next game. Which meant somehow Debbie kept getting the sherif card from the second game onwards. But to be fair Debbie did win as the sherif.

Most of the games I was an outlaw, and as an outlaw won a couple of games with my fellow outlaw. The one game I was a renegade I was eliminated very quickly. But boy when you have to chose between two players to shoot, not sure if they are on your side or not. Wow! Tense.

I really enjoyed playing this game, the others enjoyed it also. Now this is a quick game to teach, learn and play. Although with more players (up to eight) it would take a little longer to play. But the important part for me was how easy it was to teach and learn, plus the number of players it supports.

As regular long time readers will know I use board games with my students in induction week, and at other special times. Student favourites are games such as Love Letter, Munchkin and Resistance. My class size can be upto twenty four students. So I need multiple copies of a game for use in class. With Bang the Dice game supporting three to eight players, it means I only need three copies of the game to use in class. And definitely this game will be seeing some class time.

It would have been nice to have got the Walking Dead themed version of the game (especially for Saturday), however it seems out of print at the moment and more expensive than its rrp. So I'm going to have to wait for it hopefully to get reprinted. I think my students would enjoy the Walking Dead theme a lot.

With Mat arriving we finished our current game of Bang the Dice Game, and the girls got to choose the next game we played.

Flash Point


At last I have finally got to play this game. It is part of my collection, but something I've not gotten to play yet. This evening we were playing with Jonathan's copy. The hardest decision was which map/scenario to play, mainly because Jonathan has all the expansions. It was decided by the girls (I think) to do the submarine scenario, and with advanced rules (which iirc none of the others had played before, well we know I hadn't).

Jo started off the game by going first, so by the time it got to my turn I had a good idea of what I was doing. Our tactics for the scenario had us split into two, one team taking the left side of the sub (sorry no nautical terminology here) and the other the right side of the sub.

It seemed to be a semi successful tactic, we rescued victims, some lucky rolls of the dice put one or two victims straight in the safe zone, but the rolls for fire didn't go our way.

We ultimately lost the game, but it came close to the wire, we nearly completed the scenario by rescuing seven victims. It was a damaged piece of machinery from the fire that ultimately cost us the game.

I enjoyed my first game a lot, and can't wait to play more games and scenarios. Maybe Lego Minifig firemen next time?

It was the boys turn to choose…

Tiny Epic Galaxies

So a game of TEG with its maximum number of players, it was going to be interesting to see how the game went.

This was Mats first time playing the game, so a quick explanation of the game was given. Maybe too quick. However I started the game so Mat could observe a couple of goes before his.

Jo was as usual making head way on developing her empire, and colonising planets. I think I was the last player to upgrade their empire. Which definitely put me at a disadvantage on the available actions front for a few turns.

Jo could have triggered the end game and maybe have won the game, but a wrong decision on what was to be her last turn, gave Mat the window to get to twenty one points and trigger the end of the game. Debbie and Jonathan took their last goes. This was to prove a game winning last go for Jonathan, who managed to colonise a final planet and get enough points to get the win.

Mat was unsure of his first game, and thought he needs another game to decide. I partially blame myself being a poor teacher for this.

I enjoyed playing TEG with five players, there is more competition for planets. With the ability to follow another players action, you are semi engaged when it's another players turn. Which cuts down on the downtime a little between turns.

The evening finished off with a quick, light game of…

Zombie Dice

I don't think I've won a game of zombie dice yet, and last nights game kept that losing streak going. The brains as scoring tokens added to the game I thought. And was a nice light, fun way to end an enjoyable evening of gaming with great company.

So Brew Crafters to look forward to playing for the first time on Friday, followed by an open gaming session on Saturday (which will have cake!).


Grail Games

Since I've got into gaming as a hobby (about three years now) I've had two grail games.

What is a grail game? A grail game as far as I understand it is a game that you really really want that usually is out of print (but doesn't have to be), usually expensive (hey if it's out of print you can be goddam sure that the eBay scalpers will be taking advantage of that fact) and naturally potentially hard to find.

The first grail game of mine was Space Hulk. Until last year there had been three editions of the game, all of them going for well over a hundred quid on eBay. I'd played Space Hulk years ago and this two player game that was basically Aliens the movie on the tabletop in all but name. And was a game I really wanted so I could play it with Nath. But did I really want it at the high prices it was commanding?

The prices on eBay had been acting as a pretty good deterrent from purchasing the game. Could I justify spending that much money on a game? Then just as I was about to crack and cave in Games Workshop amazingly announced a limited reprint of the game. It was still going to be expensive but considerably less so than the eBay scalpers had been charging.

My second grail game is Starcraft the boardgame. This was an instant add to my list as a grail game as soon as I found out of its existence. Starcraft is out of print, so naturally it commands high prices on eBay. Vasel's Law states if a game is really great it won't stay out of print. However I think because of licensing I can't see this strategy game being reprinted anytime soon.

Now I haven't played Starcraft the boardgame before, however I am a fan of the video game series. So when I did see this existed and looked at the bgg page and photos, it looked really good, and instantly appealed to me.

This Friday (payday) I will be completing a deal that nets me this grail game for a great price. The box apparently has a little water damage (which is how the seller got the game). I'm lucky that the seller was kind enough to wait until the end of the month. So I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this.

I know have a new grail game on the list too, and that is Glen More thanks to Mat at the Fenland Gamers group. Yes another game out of print, and yes eBay fleecers are selling it for a high price. But I may have to settle for just owning the space themed reprint that will be hitting Kickstarter next month.

But who knows maybe I'll get lucky and get a copy of Glen More. When it comes to getting those grail games patience is most definitely a virtue, along with deep pockets.

What grail games do you have on your list?


Why I Don’t Play Cthulhu Realms

I don't think it's a secret how much I love the game Star Realms. It is without a doubt my most played game. Which is down to the totally awesome app of the game. And the app is amazing value really, buy once, get across all platforms the game is available on, plus online multiplayer that is platform independent.

Cthulhu Realms is touted as an improved Star Realms. From supporting up to four players straight out of the box, one less faction, faster ramp up, weaker faction synergy abilities, locations easier to destroy.

So why am I not playing Cthulhu Realms more? Or even instead of Star Realms?

Well if you remember back to when the game came out and I got my copy I played my first game with Nath.

Nath didn't enjoy playing the game, despite loving Star Realms. For Nath the iconography of the cards got in the way of him enjoying the game. Now you could argue that if we had persevered with the icons with more plays then it would become less of an issue.

However even with the handy action summary on the sanity tracking card, deciphering the icons slowed the game down.

The other main stumbling block is there no app for the game! I think part of the success of Star Realms can be put down to its app. I'm not reliant on being able to get together with people to play, I can play solo against the AI, play a campaign, or online against others.

Then there is the Star Realms community that has built up around the game. Which once again has been aided big time with the app.

So despite Cthulhu Realms being the technically better game, it will not get much play with me while I still have that learning curve of the iconography to get over. An app would help with that big time. Plus the app would solve the problem of finding someone to play with (and it has to have online play from day one).

This game needs the app fast, else it will remain an also ran.

UPDATE: apparently TMG have an app in development with White Wizard

Some recent photos

Yesterday the deluxe expansion Honor and Profit for Android Netrunner arrived. I just need the first deluxe expansion (which is on its way) to bring me completely upto date on all the data packs and deluxe expansions, until Data and Destiny comes out.

I just need to play Netrunner regularly now (well Ashes also).    
Below are some photos taken on Saturday when I went to the Computer Museum at Cambridge for the Kickstarter launch of a new book about the Oliver Twins. 

There was also an announcement by the Oliver Twins about Wonderland Dizzy being released. Which can be played for free online. 

The Oliver Twins also generously provided food for those attending plus gave a goodie bag to folks containing a Wonderland Dizzy mug and mouse mat.

Most of these photos have also been on my Instagram feed. 

A Coup Promo Puzzler

So after breaking off the cellophane from the newly arrived Coup Rebellion G54 and One Night Revolution, and sorting out the promo stuff from the actual game, I seem to have gathered enough base game cards to give me a second base game (minus the money tokens) .
So before I gointo this a bit more here are the promo cards I'm talking about (images taken from the Kickstarter pages):
The Jester replaces The Ambassador.

The Bureaucrat replaces The Duke.

One Night Revolution

The Speculator replaces The Duke.
See now I get the character cards and reference cards. What I don't get are the six base cards. Why are they giving them? Is it to support more players in Coup? As I have already pointed out, between these three promo characters I have enough cards to make a second copy of Coup. Was that the intention?
But if it's to support more players how many copies of a character support how many players in the game?

I suppose there is nothing stopping me from using them for both. For now the puzzle continues.


The wallet is going to hurt next week

New Dead of Winter Promo

Plaid Hat Games have just released an exclusive promo character Roberta Plum to their site.

Hopefully you will see some embedded video below.

Look who's coming home for the holidays…

Posted by Plaid Hat Games on Friday, 23 October 2015

You can purchase Roberta Plum Here for a bargain $5.95 plus shipping (which to the UK is just over $6)

Now I just need to arrange a game session with the Fenland Gamers.

Next week

  • The reprint of Fury of Dracula from Fantasy Flight Games hits the shelves of your FLGS with a rrp of £49.99. Which is a damn sight cheaper than the game has been going while it has been out of print.
  • The two player game 7 Wonders Duel also hits the stores at a bargain £19.99.
  • Coup Rebellion G54 (rrp £24.99) and One Night Rebellion (rrp 19.99) also add to the pressure on your wallet next week.
  • The submarine hunt/evade game designed by a British Navel Officer (if I remember this correctly) They Come Unseen sinks your battleship at £39.99.
  • Finally for this rather strong batch of releases Survive Space Attack! Joins them also at £39.99.
  • Update: forgot to add Game of Thrones Risk. Not sure of the rrp iirc its around £40.

Apart from the two I already have the others are all on my wish list.