Monthly Archives: March 2016

A Quiet Week

Business First th second data pack in the Mumbad Cycle arrived. Well that was a given really.

Plus the replacement card I needed for Lost Legacy arrived. If you remember I bought Lost Legacy off of the Facebook Trading and Selling page. Now I knew it didn't come with the nice little bags, which AEG kindly sent me for free. However I did discover a card that had a tear on the back of it. Which meant the card is useless unless I bought sleeves to use with the game that are opaque. This was a fault the seller hadn't declared and I was not happy with.

But once more AEG stepped up to the mark and sent me a replacement card.

How flipping cool are they. This is how customer support should be. The Fun Forge support is sooo slow and bad compared to AEG. AEG respond quickly (within 24 hours), and have the call resolved and replacements sent out within that time also. The replacement figure from Fun Forge is being shipped from China and won't be with me until sometime in April!!!! That's nearly two months to resolve.

Next week there is one item for sure, I might be lucky with Tiny Epic Kingdoms Second Edition and Heroes expansion arriving. Disappointingly The Others is being delayed until July, who knows I may see the expansions for Thunderbirds soon. It's nice to see some of the kickstarters coming to completion. But I can't help feeling disappointment with Cool Mini Or Not, because I feel that their delivery estimate was deliberately optimistic at best and misleading at worst. There is a big debate on the Kickstarter page on this at the moment.

 

Use the force Luke

Yesterday was the Hobbit Hole's X-Wing Store Championships. Which because of the required playing space (each game play area is a 3' X 3' space) and number of players was being held at the local working men's club hall (also home of the Chatteris Warlords).

I wasn't taking part, I dropped out of buying the X-Wing expansions and keeping up with the meta just before the Scum and Villiany expansions hit. Which was the around the same time Imperial Assault came out. I wasn't getting to play X-Wing, still not selling my collection as the models are amazing, plus I can only afford to follow one of these type of games, and I thought I'd stand more chance getting Imperial Assault to the table.

The new Ghost model from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon is beautiful. And what surprised me the ship is bigger than the Falcon. I may be tempted to get this one, for its model factor.

So why was I there then if I wasn't going to take part in the tournament? Well rumour before hand was there might be some other games being played as well on the fringes. So with some games and decks in a bag I had turned up in hope of playing some games.

My first game was against March Jamie (and yes I do give him some banter about being from March) and a friendly game of Magic the Gathering. This time my green/black deck worked! The two previous times I played this deck I struggled to get the lands needed to play cards. This time I got after a couple of mulligans I got a starting hand I was happy with, and was getting cards I could play, and the lands I wanted. The game ended up being very close. I was left with one point of health, as I delivered a finishing blow to get a win!

The second game I got to play was a three player game of Colt Express, once more with March Jamie and a third anonymous party. The third party was very keen to play this game, because they wanted to play with the time machine promo, and I knew the rules for it. Maybe a little too late we discovered the anonymous third party may or may not have been influencing the cards that appeared in their hand of cards to play! Not surprisingly that anonymous third party won! This was a casual game, and played for fun.

After that March Jamie and I continued the earlier Magic the Gathering theme by getting Arena of the Planeswalkers to the table.

At last!

I didn't win a single game of this out of the three we played. But I had a blast playing it. After each game we swapped to a Planeswalkers that hadn't been played yet.

There were some great moments, like when I was playing Jace and using his spells and enchantments to frustrate Jamie by sending his squads back to his reserves. Or when March Jamie found out about Ob Nixilis and his ability to simply destroy an adjacent enemy once a turn. That was funny, because he had moved a single unit strong water based creature next to him to attack.

Ok that last game there was a little bit of time pressure because the it was getting dangerously close to the end of the time the hall had been booked for. So I did a mad rush in with Ob Nixilis to take on the opposing forces when I should have moved everything up together.

But still as I said there were many fun moments that made the game very enjoyable. It's is such a shame that Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are not getting more behind this game. This game needs more expansions fast. Such as a landscape expansion adding more landscape to the game, the 3D element makes the game much more interesting, not just visually but game play wise. It affects line of sight, bonuses when attacking and defending, and also movement.

A major element of this game is also the squad building, or would be if there were more squads. That's the other expansion this game needs, more so than landscape. Not being able to build squads or tailor your spells deck is really limiting the game.

The models are really quite impressive in their detail considering the cost of this game. Not the best quality, but surprisingly good. The play area is quick to setup, but you do need a large table to play.

Arena of the Planeswalkers is a blast, but let down by poor support. Which is a shame, it deserves to be better supported, FFG would have done so much more with this. Actually I'd love to see PlaidHat licence this to make an Ashes version.

So glad this got to the table, will definitely be playing again.

 

Choo Choo

Last night saw Jonathan and I visiting the pad of Debbie and Jo to play a “marathon” play session of Ticket to Ride. Ok not so much a marathon because Debbie was catching a bus to Kings Lynn at 10:30 to sign fans autographs.

In the meantime our evening of trains geekery kicked off with a game of Ticket to Ride Europe.

Once more I was faced with an upside down map of Europe. My tickets seemed to fit together okish.

During our game play there was plenty of banter and laughter. And somehow I was completing tickets! What was funnier not until I was nearly out of trains did anyone notice I was getting to that point!

Finally scoring and I had won! My first physical game win in a long time.

Our next Ticket to Ride map was the latest one released the UK. None of us had played this map before.

For the UK map they introduced technology cards. Cards that you had to buy so that you could do things like create ferry routes, or create routes in Scotland (or Wales, Ireland and France), or create routes that required three and four cards to build.

I liked this addition to the game. Remembering you needed them before making a turn did slow one or two of the others.

My initial starting tickets were interesting, I don't think I had one worth more than five points. Plus I had a one point route I could complete straight away!

With lucky draws I was able to get the technology cards I needed to be able to complete my tickets. Then I started holding the cards needed to get the technology that would make each completed ticket worth two extra points.

After getting that I was trailing on the score board. But there was a way to catch up and go into the lead. Sitting on the board was a massive forty points in the form of a ten card route to New York. So I went for that. No one else was going for it.

I think it came as a surprise when I played that route and jumped massively into the lead. I was waiting for the “that's over powerful” comment.

By the time I had scored that massive route, I was within striking distance of triggering the end game. The others still had lots of trains in front of them. So that's what I did, I went for routes that would allow me to trigger the end game as quick as possible.

After the final counting I had won again.

As I said I loved the technology cards. At the start of the game with such short routes I was wondering how anyone could get to one hundred points. Were the designers being optimistic? But at the final count I ended up with ninety nine points. I was even pleasantly surprised that there were route cards worth over ten points.

We finished up our evening playing a couple of games of Codenames. Our teams were split up as boys against girls. Both games were won by the boys. I think this was the first time I've played where I also got to guess from the clue.

Another great evening of gaming, and I had a clean sweep of wins ^___^

 

Hulk Smash

There you are sitting there on sixty authority, your opponent (me) is there sitting on fifty three authority.

Then I start playing cards. The attack starts to mount up. I’m scraping cards, buying cards with abilities for free, removing outposts with card abilities. All of a sudden forty four points of damage go flying across.

Sixteen authority left, oh wait if I scrap some cards for their attack value I can hit nineteen points and finish them off.

The killing blow taking them to -3 authority.

Ă”

 

Here I’m hoping this is a video of this most epic of turns.

At sixty authority you really do think there are at least a few more turns left in the game. I’ve been on the receiving end of something similar. Usually this happens at around the forty authority mark.

These turns are few and far apart. But boy when they happen, they are something special. I’m just so glad I was the one dishing out the punishment and not on the receiving end. Far, far too many times this is usually happening to me.

You have to love Star Realms.

 

Epic Evening

Yesterday was Tuesday, and that means only one thing. Yep Tuesday night gaming at the Chatteris Warlords.

The evening started off with Ben beating me at Android Netrunner when my first ever shaper deck Jesminder Sareen went up against his Jinteki Personal Evolution deck.

I could make excuses like I don't play shaper, it's an unfamiliar deck, and they would all be valid in this case. However this deck needs a few more plays for its full short comings are known, and I start tweaking. Although for starters I don't think I'm making enough of her ability of avoiding the first tag each turn.

We followed that defeat up with a game of Epic using the demigod cards from the Kickstarter year one promos to construct a deck. On the back of the demigod id there are suggested deck lists. I played Tarken, the wise, while Ben played Valentia, Justice Bringer.

Unlike Friday I did some damage to Ben before the inevitable crushing defeat happened.

With the Kickstarter exclusive playmats the play area for Epic is nothing but an explosion of colour.

Next up Ben recruited four more players interested in playing Epic. So two packs of Epic got shuffled together and did a pack draft. Which is basically each player getting three piles of ten cards in front of them acting as the packs. Then each player selects one as a pack, and the drafting begins, and continues until each player has thirty cards in front of them, which is their deck to play with.

We then split up into pairs to face off across the battle field letting our champions knock seven shades of a brown smelly substance out of each other.

My first game was an easy victory, and a steep learning curve for my opponent. It certainly helps having a knowledge of Magic when learning to play. It's then a matter of mapping the relevant terminology from Epic to Magic. The one page reference sheet that White Wizard provide on the website is a great aid for learning to play, and also while playing to remind yourself what words like tribute, blitz, loyalty 2 mean.

Although there is this learning curve of the terminology I do find that it is easier to get and learn that the iconography of Cthulhu Realms.

Turn one of our second game my opponent drew and fielded an Elder Greatwurm.

If there was no deploying then this would be a turn one win card. Luckily there is, but this beast of a card had me worried. It just needed to get through once to end me. I needed to make sure I had a sacrificial champion to block it with at the end of each turn.

While I was worrying about the Elder Greatwurm, my opponent was chipping away my health with direct damage, and adding wolf tokens to their playing field.

I used an event to deal five damage to all attacking champions. It helped clear the field. Then a solution to the Elder Greatwurm arrived in my hand. Although the solution had one attack and no defense, as long as it landed a hit, it allowed you to banish the other champion.

While navigating the Elder Greatwurm I was landing damage on my opponent, until eventually I was able to deliver a killing blow to get the victory.

Why can't I play like this against Ben?

We have a growing Android Netrunner meta, and now Epic is starting to take root. At the end of May we will be having our first store tournament for Netrunner. Hopefully we will get the Tyrants expansion for Epic and also the store kits being done.

I just need to introduce folks to Ashes now…

 

He’s Dead Jim!

So one more time with feeling…

This post is about my play through of the game Pandemic Legacy Season 1 with my friends. So the following may or may not contain spoilers for the game. If you don't want to read possible spoilers for the game then stop reading now and join me in my next post.

Right if you are still reading this post let's begin…

Last night Debbie was back from her award winning performance of third tree from the left in the local amdram performance of Annie. Apparently the reviews were amazing. How good was Debbie's performance? Several dogs mistook her for a real tree, that's how good.

Before our game started with the agreement of Jonathan, Debbie and Matt, I swapped my character from Token Sexy Scientist to Wanda (I think that was her name) the quarantine specialist. I could now travel using the army bases, place one quarantine token anywhere on the board once per turn, and if a quarantine token was on the same city as me it stayed put if there was an infection there.

Before we got underway with the month of June, the legacy deck introduced equipment to the game. We then carried out the initial infection once more, decided our starting spot, along with our starting funded events (because of previous failures we were back upto six for this attempt at June).

I think this play through of June can best be described as close, but not close enough.

We had two cured diseases, about to eradicate one, nearly had army bases in all zones, and close to having seven quarantine markers out. But despite all that hard work, we got our butts handed to us and were overrun by outbreaks.

Our third loss. One more and we get to open the 'box'. The one you open after four losses in a row.

Time to reset the board and try again with eight funded events.

The faded are starting to get established on the West Coast of America. But we in reply are starting each game now with four army bases already in place. A great start of achieving one of the objectives very quickly. We got a few quarantine markers out on the board. Once more we cured C-ThatCam-Major.

If you are in a city with a faded in it at the start of your go, you take a scar. A scar is something negative, like you can hold one less card in your hand, or you get one less action a turn. I made the mistake of being in an occupied faded city at the start of one of my turns and had to take a scar.

Matt also made the same mistake, and took a scar. He then had to take another scar later. One more and his Zardoz would be dead. Guess what? An outbreak of a faded happened on the city he was safely sitting in. Zardoz was dead.

Below Matt gets all emotional at the death of Zardoz.

Matt had to take over one of the civilian ids to finish off the game. Which luckily was a couple of turns later.

We had army bases in all the zones, more than seven quarantine markers and was just about to eradicate C-ThatCam-Major for the win.

The fourth defeat had been avoided, but at what cost?

Before the start of July we get a bonus for completing June. Matt will get to choose a new character to play, which I believe he has already decided on. And we will be down to six funded events.

That's 50% of the game played. Wow, what an experience so far.

 

Friday night loses

Friday I missed my now regular post highlighting the following weeks new releases from Esdevium (who I portray as being part of a Borg collective that is represented by Asmodee) that interest me. There was a legitimate reason for this, I was pretending to have a social life by being out gaming!

There is a gaming group in Wisbech that meets up on a Friday from 5pm until 9pm I believe. They used to be in a scout hut or something by the hospital, if I'm remembering this correctly. I hadn't been before because the timings were wrong.

However things change, and now for the immediate future the timings work out for me.

Then while at the Chatteris Warlords the other day I found out they had moved location. The gaming group (can't remember the name for the life of me) was now being held at the Conservative Club on Alexandre Road.

When I arrived at the gaming group (slightly late, because I got caught up chin wagging with my friend Nathan) Ben (from Warlords) and Jamie (who I have played Dicemasters with) were locked in a skirmish playing Attack Wing.

Despite having similar mechanics to X-Wing (well Wizkids did licence them from FFG) I've never been a fan of Attack Wing. It didn't appeal to me. From poorer quality models, a skirmish game designed for small ships which I didn't think suited the larger ships of Star Trek (FFG did it right with Armada), the fact I'm a much bigger Star Wars fan than Trek, and Wizkids usual insane expansion release cycle, I just wasn't in on this one.

Anyway when I got there Jamie was just finishing off destroying Ben's ship for the win. While I was waiting there was a table taken up with a couple of people sorting a gravity feed of the latest D&D Dicemasters set that they had just opened. Fools.

Anyway after the tears of defeat had been wiped away, some minor post game analysis, the three of us played a game of Epic the card game.

The deck of 120 cards that make up the deck were split into the four alignments that make up the game. We then randomly selected which deck we had and started playing a three player game of Epic.

Ben went first and was able to delivery twelve points of damage straight away to Jamie. I was next and tried to kick Jamie while he was down so speak, but he managed to avoid that attack!

Then Jamie hit me, followed by Ben, followed by Jamie, followed by Ben. I was out leaving Jamie and Ben to duke it out. Although Jamie was able to delay the inevitable, Ben went on to be the last one standing and basking in the glory of victory.

Our second game was a three player game of 7 Wonders using my pimped out copy of the game (sleeved cards, playmat and metal coins). Being the owner of the game I graciously let the other two beat me into last place. Once more Ben was victorious.

Apparently there was a Warhammer Conquest store competition at The Hobbit Hole on the Saturday, and Jamie needed to get a bit of practice in. So while Ben beat Jamie at Conquest I was deck building a new Shaper deck based around the new runner from the Kala Ghoda data pack Jesminder Sareen.

I've not played Shaper, I'm an Anarch through and through. But Jesminders ability intrigued me.

I liked the thought of being able to avoid a tag. Especially when the next card in that data pack Maya is taken into account.

The other card I love from that data pack is a Street Magic. I've got to try and get this into my Noise deck, and I definitely want this in my Jasminder deck. Street Magic in play can potentially stop so much nastiness happening when making a run.

I just need to work out what are the best econ cards, and ice breakers for Shaper now.

After Ben had shown Jamie the weaknesses in his Conquest deck, we had a four player game of 7 Wonders. Ben won this game also, and the only thing that stopped me coming last was there was a noob to the game also playing. But I did score better this time than the first play this evening.

Despite not winning a game, I still had a pleasant evening. I'll definitely be going back, just not next week because there is a Ticket to Ride “marathon” going on.

13Mar16 through the letter box

Not much landed through the letter box this week.

The latest expansion for Tokaido, Matsuri arrived. This adds even more depth to the game, this time festivals that happen when the travellers arrive at the inns. Plus there are even more characters to choose from.

The annoying thing about the expansion adding more travellers to chose from is having just gotten the deluxe upgrade kit that has models for all the travellers in the base game and Crossroads, not having figures for these new characters is annoying.

One thing I think may come across when I talk about Netrunner is how much I love the theme of the game. The whole cyberpunk setting, hackers verses the evil corporations. The world of Android that Netrunner is set in, is dark and seedy, and bought to life brilliantly by the art work and flavour text on the cards.

Now FFG have released Worlds of Android. A beautiful book with so much background into the android universe, and some stunning artwork. With the deluxe version you get a playmat, four prints, and the book itself.

I think you will agree that the prints and the playmat look stunning.

Finally the Alliance Smuggler for Imperial Assault arrived, and a second track (not counting the base set one) to be used in the Fenland Gamers Formula D league that will be kicking off at the end of April.

 

14Mar16 Esdevium Gifts

Slightly delayed due to my playing games last night (more on that in the next post) I bring you my highlights of our weekly gifts that the Asmodee Borg Collective member Esdevium deem fit to shower on us.

The biggest one for me this coming week is the second data pack in the Mumbad Cycle of the Android Netrunner universe, Business First.

Munchkin is like the marmite of the hobby gaming world. You either love it or hate it. I fall on the love it side of things. So for some the next item will have their flesh crawling, while for others they will be excited.

Fluxx the card game that is like playing a game on quicksand. The rules are constantly changing, as is how to win. This randomness can be a turn off for some. I love it. My go to version of the game is Star Fluxx the scifi themed one. Although big tip here for those that have a python fan in the family, get them the Monty Python version of the game. Anyway I'm excited about this next version coming out. I love Firefly (although I don't have any of the boardgames based on it). So this has put a big smile on my face, and an instant addition to my wishlist.

Want to build a really really cool tree house? Well want no longer, build away in Best Treehouse Ever. And nice to see this Kickstarter hit the shops.

Elder Sign a Cthluhu co-op dice game set it the same FFG gothic universe as Arkham Horror, and Eldritch Horror sees its third expansion released next week, Omens of Ice.

There are also a X-Wing wave released next week, some Pokemon cards, and Force of Will bits released if they float your boat.

And that's next week goodies coming out to part you from your hard earned pennies.