Monthly Archives: November 2015

Running Magic

While getting some card protectors to protect my restocked Love Letter Batman (I'd given my two copies away, and it is my favourite version), a set of Magic Duel Decks and three booster packs fell into my bag! The owner of the FLGS also kindly gave me a “trial” Magic the Gathering pack as well. These “trial” packs are two thirty card decks given to people thinking of trying the game.

This Christmas is looking like a LCG/CCG holiday. With the Magic stuff today, Epic, Android Netrunner, and Ashes I have plenty of options to play with Nath.

Whilst at the FLGS ok I'm going to name it, it's The Hobbit Hole in Chatteris, the owner said he is looking to start organising Netrunner stuff starting in January. Customers (other than me) had been in asking about the game.

The other bit of gossip I got was that apparently the second D&D Dicemasters set is meant to be hitting stores tomorrow!!!

If this is true, it's madness. The Amazing Spider-Man set only hit about three weeks ago.

I love playing Dicemasters, but I'm glad I jumped off the wagon. Wizkids have a crazy release schedule, that is not only expensive, but doesn't give you much time to play with the sets before another hits.

At least with Netrunner and Magic the release schedules are much less punishing. Giving you time to play and explore the new goodness.

Mind you considering the Dicemasters Teenage Ninja Turtles set will be a self contained set, I may be tempted to part with some cash for it.

Don't forget…

Today is the last day to enter the caption competition to win a copy of Bang the Dice Game.


Dice, Gems, and Markets

Yesterday saw three Fenland Gamers meet up for an afternoon of rolling dice, pushing tokens around, plotting and general cardboard shenanigans.

Amazon had let me down again. Colt Express was meant to have arrived Friday, but it didn't. So after chatting with their support I had an extra month added to my Prime membership as a “gesture of good will” from them for the inconvience, and an assurance the game would be delivered by midday on Saturday so it could be played that afternoon. Guess what? It never showed up. When I contacted support again, was told it was still at the couriers local distribution centre. I wasn't happy. In a fit of rage, I performed the act known as cutting my nose off despite my face, and asked to cancel the order and get a refund, saying I would get it elsewhere.

After getting hot beverages organised, our afternoon of gaming started with the three of us learning the new arrival I had this week Dice City.

So a brief read through of the rules, then we started play. Our first couple of turns saw us fumbling around like new born foals finding their legs. Through out the game questions would crop up for various situations, and the rule book would have to be consulted.

Three turns after getting the catapult I realised I had missed placed the catapult. Basically shutting down my ability to use it, and my main ability to attack bandits.
On the other hand Jonathan's dad had established a really effective engine that got him free army units, and allowed him to get more than enough swords to attack bandits, and build up points that way.
Jonathan was just scoring at will. He was trading, attacking bandits, purchasing. His engine was on fire. The victory points were just piling up for him.
I completed my second row, activated my three deactivated properties, and called the end of the game. It was time to put me out of my misery. There was no way that I'd be able to catch up.
As the final score below shows I wasn't even close to winning. I had made the right call to end my suffering.
Wow. This game took a lot longer than I was expecting. I thought this game would be a quickish game. But it took around two hours. Maybe some of that time was due to the three of us learning the game. But still, there are a surprising amount of decisions to make while its your turn.
I like the fact that there is a mechanism that mitigates the luck of rolling dice. Which is basically being able to move a dice one adjacent position to its left or right. However there are buildings that you can buy that allow you to move a dice to any position on its row.
Surprisingly for a dice game, you need a lot of table space to play. The player boards are massive, plus the space for the various card piles, and tokens, it's not a small game.
I like the fact there are different paths to victory you can take. Ok I didn't do very well executing mine, but Jonathan's dad had the military path pretty well worked out, Jonathan's was fairly successful. In our game there was no attacking the other players buildings. Which would have been a good extension to the military path.
Overall I liked the game, definitely want to get this to the table again.

Our second game of the afternoon was Splendor. Having had the custom playmat made for the game did aid setting up. I didn't have to remember where everything went for starters.

I like Splendor, especially the tokens for the gems. The fact they are poker chips with the relevant image of a gem on is nice. But I just like the tactile feel of these chips. It's hard not to play with them when they are in front of you waiting to be spent.

Although Jonathan managed to attract the first patron, and also take the early lead with a couple of one point cards. I quickly caught up, and pulled ahead, before attracting two patrons. Jonathan did pull back, but by then it was too late I scored the fifteen points to get the win.

Our final game of the session was Istanbul. The tile setup used was the short paths one, with no expansions or promos used. We went this route because this was the first time Jonathan's dad had played the game, and didn't want to over complicate things.

Once again Jonathan won. That's all three games of this I've played so far and he has won all of them. I came second in this game due to the tie breaker rules. Jonathan's dad and I both had three gems, but I had more money than him.

After the game, Jonathan shared his winning tactic for the short paths set up. Which basically meant grabbing the tile power up that allowed him to reroll a die, or change it to the number four. Then visiting the tea house to get money and the gemstone store to buy the gems. And alternating between the two. I must find a way to disrupt this tactic if we play this set up again. Which while writing this I think I have.

A great afternoon gaming, great company.


Saturday Morning Goodies

The English version of two issues of Spielbox arrived this morning. These were back issues that I ordered for particular promos that came with them.

So this is the Kebab Shop promo. It comes on thinner cardboard than the game uses for its tiles. It is suggested on bgg that one solution is to stick it to the German language side of the fountain tile. And I know Jonathan printed out this tile and did that. But there is a bit of me that just can't bring myself to do that. What if I want to play the game in German? Ok I don't speak German, and I don't know anyone who does (that I know of), I've always wanted to learn German (only held back by the fact I'm rubbish at languages, and find speaking them difficult), but who knows I may over come my barriers holding me back, and playing the German version would help with that learning.

As a separate promo from the issue it was given with is the Carcassonne Plague promo. I'm going to need to visit bgg to get the rules for this little promo/expansion.

Over on eBay the playmat for Colt Express is used as bait to separate the gullible from their coins. Yes this is another of those promos that goes for silly money. But it is also another of those promos that you can buy from the original source at its original cost!

My google skills are not some super ninja level, they are those of a mere mortal. So why am I finding these promos at the far more affordable level, while others seemingly aren't?

Any ways I think the game is going to look awesome set out on this playmat.

So I've made up the time machine promo ready to be used.

Now all I need is Amazon to get Colt Express to me in time for this afternoons gaming session. They let me down yesterday by not delivering it.


New Arrival Thursday

Sometimes patience is a virtue. In this instance a very big virtue. The contents of the box below were ordered over two months ago. I say ordered, technically they were pre-orders.
Me being a cheapskate, I opted to have the three shipped together. Which at the time I didn't think was going to delay the order this long. Initially they were all due out the same month, so my calculations had them being in my grubby mitts by the end of the month I ordered them.
However that wasn't to be the case, delays happen etc for various reasons.
Anyway at the start of the week the final piece of the jigsaw that was my pre-order arrived.
So what was in this Pandora's box?
Already plans are afoot to get a group together from interested parties to play through my game of the year prediction Pandemic Legacy.
While I'm hoping to get Dice City to the table this weekend. The Roll for the Galaxy Ambition expansion who knows, maybe Christmas with Nath?
So many great games, so little time…


Nuclear Bazaar

This evening Jonathan and I met up to play some games. Mat should have been there too, but he had to drop out at the last minute due to illness.

The original plan had been for the three of us to play The Manhattan Project (Mat had really wanted to play this game) and Lords of Waterdeep with the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion (Mat and Jonathan were keen to play this).

However with no Mat the plans were in disarray. Well kind of. Jonathan had bought with him Istanbul with the Mocha and Baksheesh expansion, plus the kebab stall tile promo.

We winged our plan of games to play, starting off with The Manhattan Project. For this play through we used the Nations expansion (one and two), used the tile to change the number of bomb attacks down from two to one. This made more sense for a two player game, and the mini bomb placement board for laying out the bomb cards. Oh and naturally the player aid cards were also used.

I really do like the Nations cards, they add a little more theme to the game, give a unique power to each player.

It would be cruel to say that every move we took we said “oh Mat would love this” and we didn't. But Mat would have loved the game.

I managed to ramp up my engine quicker than Jonathan, I had all my workers bought and working for me well before Jonathan. The only real place my system was not very good at generating stuff was generating lots of yellow cake. This meant I had to keep using a main action to get yellow cake, and normally ended up giving Jonathan free yellow cake so I could grab more.

I managed to beat Jonathan to testing a bomb first, which meant I claimed six points for being the first to test a bomb (second in a two player game gets no points) and switched on the higher point total.

Each bomb I made (except the one I was going to test) I loaded onto a bomber. It's a cheap way of getting five points.

I thought this worked really well as a two player game. And I'm not just saying that because I won. Jonathan also enjoyed playing it this way.

Jonathan and I both played in a non aggressive way, I've we didn't attack each other. I think taking that attack slot down to one, would have allowed for a more aggressive game if we had wanted to go down that route. If it had been left at two slots, it would have been just tit for tat on the attacking front. However with just the one slot, it stops that, and the other player has to wait until the slot is free before they can retaliate (if that is what they want to do). It also stops back to back attacks, and being completely destroyed. I'll be interested to hear what others think on this.

But still The Manhattan Project a very very good worker placement game.

Next up Istanbul with the coffee expansion!

Well you know I liked playing Istanbul, not only because I said so in a previous post. But because the game is now in my collection. And I was keen to play the game with the expansion.

We decided on a random board setup, and the kebab stall instead of the fountain.

What can I say about the coffee expansion? I love it. It takes an already great game, and takes it to another level.

I love the new scoring opportunities the expansion gives you with the coffee tokens. Then also being able to block off routes with a log for the other players is also cool. I did this at one point to stop Jonathan from gaining control of the log, blocking his route to the tile where he could wrestle its control from me.

The new cards this expansion introduces are amazingly powerful. However to use one requires using up your whole turn. While also the new power up tiles also pretty powerful. I got one that allowed me to move as far as I liked in a straight line.

The kebab stall was interesting. Apart from allowing you to recall all your agents from around the board, you could also choose to move your relative counter to another tile instead and take the action on the new tile if it wasn't on the police station tile.

I only went to the kebab stall once, and that was because I played one of the new cards, that moved my merchant and agents to the fountain, and allowed me to take an extra turn straight away.

Jonathan won the game six rubies to my five. I hadn't kept an eye on him, and forgot about one of the scoring opportunities, one that gave Jonathan the win. Which was a shame, because I was three turns myself away from getting my final ruby.

I love, love this expansion. You can be sure it will be added to my collection real soon. The new tiles, cards, scoring opportunities, the ability to block routes, and the coffee trader, just brilliant additions to the game.

Once again I liked how this game played for two players. Using the unused merchant counters in the two player game, was a nice touch. These merchants are placed randomly on the board using the dice. If you land on a tile with a merchant on it, just like the multiplayer game play, to do the action on the tile you have to pay two coins (but this time to the bank). Afterwards you then roll the two dice to move the merchant to a new tile.

A great evenings gaming with Jonathan, I had a great time.


Lego Therapy Time

Ironman vs Ultron (set 76029)

Double the value of a five pound Tesco voucher using their promotion, add two more coin of the realm, and you end up with this nice little Marvel Lego set.

Santas Visit (set 40125)

I'm not a Christmas person, so why get this set? Well the header image for this blog is going to change, and have a seasonal theme to it. I've just got to get the motivation up to take the photos and edit them into the header.

I do like making Lego, it is very therapeutic. I really must get on with painting those Stormtroopers for Imperial Assault. That too I found to be like building Lego very therapeutic. But it's back to the motivation, or lack of it. Oh the catch twenty two of it all.

Magic Potions, Bounty Hunters and Time Machines

A new minifig arrived today, it's the uber cool looking Bobba Fett.

You have to be so careful when buying off eBay, there are a lot of keychain figures that are being sold on there that I don't like. Firstly the figures are not proper minifigs, their bodies are all one, meaning they don't come apart. Secondly the heads have holes in them where the keychain was.

These differences may not make a difference to you, however for me they are massive, and a deal breaker.

Sadly eBay is swamped by these bogus figures, and it does take time to filter out the wheat from the chaff. Which basically means reading the product descriptions carefully. But the effort is worth it.

From the promos I saw online from Essen this year, I think the coolest was for I game I didn't have, nor at that point played Colt Express. The promo they were giving away for this game was a Delorean car from the classic trilogy of movies Back to the Future.
The Delorean is cool. But the envelop had an even bigger cool factor for me. I love Asterix the Gaul. As a kid I saw the original animated movie at the cinema in St Albans when I was visiting my aunt and uncle who were living there at the time.
At secondary school there was a book club, where you could order books from a little colour leaflet that came round, so I ordered the only Asterix book they had which was the Twelve Tasks of Asterix. Up to this point I never knew there were Asterix books. It wasn't until I was at Brighton Poly that I bought anymore Asterix books to read.
Brighton was a costly revelation for me. Wisbech isn't the most cosmopolitan of towns. The local WH Smiths was and is still the main bookshop in town (although there have been others from time to time that never stayed in business for long). So moving to a town as big as Brighton, that not only had bookshops, but comic shops too, I was in geek heaven.
And it was here that I was able to find and buy more Asterix books. I also had a very good friend called Chris that was also into Asterix (and Rocky Horror) who enlightened me to the existence of all the books in the first place.
So yes when I saw the stamp below I was like blown away. That is such an amazingly epic stamp. You can bet I'm going to be keeping that stamp.


Black Friday Hopes

So the countdown to Black Friday is on. A day of shopping madness in the hunt for a bargain that has become part of Americas traditions to take its place alongside their Thanksgiving turkey.

After so long resisting this celebration of consumerism across the pond, in recent years it has been making an appearance over here. Amazon has been making their Black Friday offers available this side of the pond. Which has been great, although last year I didn't find anything in their offerings that interested me.

I've looked through me wishlist on bgg, and thought which of these would I really like and snap up if they appeared on Amazons Black Friday offers. So I whittled that list down to two games that I'm hoping, crossing fingers, touching wood, rubbing a lucky rabbits foot etc will make an appearance on Amazons Black Friday offers.

First up would be Colt Express. It really did impress me that much. Plus I do have a couple of the promo items for it on the way form Germany. So it won't be long before the game joins my collection, it would just be nice to save some money getting it.

This has been on my wish list for a long long time, Room 25 or its follow up Season 2. Imagine a boardgame version of that Doctor Who episode with the orbiting tv station, and those deadly game shows. And them going from one show to another, only to escape, and find out the whole station was a dalek plot. Forget the dalek plot, and space station bit, and you have Room 25 I believe.

So what are you hoping to see on the Amazon Black Friday offers?


Mid Nov Arrivals

If you are one of those people bored with life and know me on other social media outlets, you will already be aware of these arrivals (I post to Instagram which pushes stuff to other places also, boring people in lots of places). However for those of you that pretend they have a life, your denial is holding you back from your recovery.

First up is the arrival of the main expansion for The Manhattan Project, The Manhattan Project Second Stage. This is several modules in one box that you can pick and choose which ones you want to add to the base game. Plus there are some nice player aid cards, which thinking about it really should have been in the base game.
Considering I'll be playing the game Wednesday, the arrival of this expansion is timely. If the only to use the extra Nations cards, and player aid cards.
Ok I'm not the worlds biggest Trek fan, I'm a bigger Star Wars and Tolkien fan. However after seeing this on Tabletop a couple years back (Tabletop effect anyone?) I did think about getting this version of Catan, but it was out of print at that point, and I didn't want it enough to really hunt it down.
And then over on that UK Facebook group for trading and selling this guy put it up for sale last week. The price seemed reasonable, so we conducted an exchange of coin of the realm for cardboard and plastic.
When the game arrived and I opened it, this was a better bargain than I thought. It also came with the Federation Space Map expansion, the only expansion for the game. So I was rather chuffed (that's a word for happy for my colonial readers in the Americas).
I've not played Catan with Nath, and this themed version of the game will be an easier sell to him. Once more the list of games to take for Christmas is growing exponentially.

Finally a Kickstarter arrived today. This one is the card game Best Treehouse Ever. If the title doesn't tell you what the theme and aim of the game is, then I guess if you saw the movie Snakes on a Plane it came as a complete surprise that there were snakes and a plane in it.


Ticket to Ride App Update

A new release of the Ticket to Ride app has just been released on the App Store. There is little point me listing all the changes when I can show you them using the developers own words.

Love the cross-platform addition along with addition of being able to play multiple games at the same time. About time I say. In this day and age, I should be able to start a game on one platform and continue it on another. The excellent Star Realms app does this. So app developers have no excuse for not doing this.

Some of the changes by the looks of it are cosmetic, and will make it hopefully easier for the developer to add new content in the future. Having a universal version of the app “should” also make the developers life easier.

A nice looking update.

Oh and if you fancy a game of Ticket to Ride my username is whitespider1066