Monthly Archives: May 2016

My first netrunner comp

Yesterday saw The Hobbit Hole run its first Netrunner event. John (the store owner) was using the Spring 2016 store kit. However to make this first event “special” I had donated a copy of Worlds of Android premium edition as the top prize.

So the Spring kit gave the following to use for prizes:

  • A set of acrylic brain damage tokens (first place)
  • Two alt art Leela Patel identity cards (top two)
  • Seventeen alt art Political Operative cards (basically participation prize)

Naturally I wanted first place not for the book (I already have it) but the brain damage tokens.

The combatants were John, Chris, Robert, Kar-Fai and myself. There could have been at least another three players but previous arranged commitments or work stopped them taking part. Robert was the surprise entry after his rage quitting of the game announcement on Tuesday. But somehow he had managed to build a deck Friday night.

My first round match up was with Chris. My Noise ran riot over Chris's Replicating Perfection deck. He romped away with seven unanswered agenda points to get the win. It was then my NEH deck taking on his Kate deck. My NEH is the deck I still think needs work. It's the ice, and more cards to do damage if the runner is tagged. However in this match up it was working nicely. All the little “tricks” were landing such as News Team being taken as a negative agenda point (twice) negating scored one point agendas. Daily Business Show is allowing me to bury agendas at the bottom of my deck. Chris having been wreck less against this deck before, had given me my only ever turn two win. So he was playing much more cautiously against this deck. But still I get the win. Chris isn't happy. His dreams of getting the Android book fading away.

Round two saw me against Kar-Fai. Our match up started off with my Noise against his HB deck (can't remember the id). Kar-Fai started off scoring an early Private Security Force. In reply I scored three agendas worth six points. I was hunting for that final winning agenda, mainly by hitting R&D, and archives. Kar-Fai had been forced to purge virus counters to stop my deep digging of R&D. I had been ignoring a card in his scoring server because I felt it was a trap. During my hunting, I took three tags. Kar-Fai started using the Private Security Force ability of doing meat damage. I had a couple of I've Had Worse in hand that kept me in the game. I should have but didn't get rid of the tags, but then again I had no money, I didn't really need it at this point I thought. After my turn I was left with two cards in hand, hoping this hadn't been noticed. But click one damage, click one damage, click one damage, I'm dead. If I had hit that ignored server I'd have won! Brilliant game.

Our second game saw Gabriel against my NEH. This was a close game also. Kar-Fai was making it hard to keep tags landed on his runner by spending money to clear them. So although I'd prefer to keep the tags on him, it did mean he had to spend clicks and money to clear them. Everytime Kar-Fai hit HQ he kept hitting one of the two Scorched Earths I had in hand and was not able to land. Another reason for him to keep clearing tags. In the end our game went to time, with Kar-Fai getting the win on having more agenda points.

The third and final round was against John. This was my first time ever against John. John was playing core set NBN. Noise did his job, ran amok again and won the first game. I can't remember the core runner or faction John was using. But the “tricks” were working, John was walking into traps. I had scored four one point agendas, I had an unguarded archives with a two point agenda hidden in it (that never got hit), my unguarded PAD Campaign never got trashed. John did keep clearing tags that I landed. In the end our game went to time, giving me the win.

The modified win against John meant I took second instead of drawing first. But Kar-Fai got the well deserved first place. Kar-Fai very generously let me have the brain damage tokens.

Final positions for the competition:

  1. Kar-Fai
  2. Me
  3. Robert (third round buy)
  4. John (first round buy)
  5. Chris

Well done Kar-Fai – a worthy winner. Hope you enjoy the book, and look forward to playing against you soon.

Robert confirmed he is definitely selling up, he just wasn't enjoying the game, and I think may have already have a buyer for his core set and data packs.

I had a great time playing yesterday, can't wait for the next event.

The next Netrunner event (with another Spring 2016 kit) is 2nd July.


Gems in the ruins

I know I said I wasn't going to this Friday night group anymore I'd had enough. But there I was back once more, a glutton for punishment.

Jamie, Lucas and myself played a game of Splendor using the official playmat, the first game I've played with it. It was also the first time Jamie and Lucas had played the game. So that's why I'm putting my worst score at the game todate of two points to “beginners luck”. Jamie romped to an easy victory of fifteen points, while Lucas narrowly beat me with a score of three.

No one remembers second place! Which is where I finished in the three games of King of Tokyo that we played. In one of the games I needed one victory point to win. Jamie was in the middle clicking up points. I only needed to reach seventeen points thanks to a card I had bought, whilst Jamie still needed to reach twenty. Could I roll that blooming point? Not a chance. The dice were definitely against me. Jamie took a points win, that could have also been a knockout victory too. But it shouldn't have been if the dice had been kinder.

Ok this was really my last time at this group. From next week a small splinter group of us will be meeting at The Angel pub from between 5pm and 9:00-9:30 (although it can go on longer). I'll put more details up about this in the next day or so.

Pandemic Legacy September Again

Wednesday saw the gang get together after a loooong hiatus (and still no ice cream or present from the holiday Debbbbie) to try and save humanity from being wiped off the face of the earth.

After restarting our first game once we realised we had already caught the paranoid soldier! Yeah that soldier that killed off my character Mustard by revealing he was a traitor! The character who was able to remove the faded. Our main source of doing this, apart from a couple of unfunded events. It was kind of a mercy restart also the game was kicking our butt.

With our restart well under way, things were not looking good. Things were just snow balling, outbreaks of the faded going unchecked, pandemics mounting up, a team decision was made to try and salvage something from this imminent defeat. We were going to concentrate on finding the virologist. At least we would have achieved something, an objective would have been completed. But more important another step to getting a cure for the faded.

It was a close one, but we did complete our manhunt, and the second piece of the cure puzzle found, before the game smashed us in the face.

So September had got the better of us. The game has a great win ratio against our team. Jonathan is going through a love hate relationship with it. Or more accurately battered player syndrome. The game keeps beating him up but he comes back for more.

We still had time to see if we could turn the evening around and get a victory on the sheet.

October saw us having to find patient zero at ground zero as a new objective. Not being able to remove the faded is hurting us. The nearest we can get to any form of control is quarantining cities. But it's not nearly as effective as removing them. Mustard you traitorous git you are truly missed.

Once again we set up to get patient zero as a priority. A priority we achieved. We now had all three parts of the puzzle for a cure. And our earlier misplay was now corrected. The universe was now back in alignment. Sadly the infected cities with the faded weren't. They were running away unchecked. We managed to complete a second objective of destroying two military bases, and cure a disease before time ran out like the faded. We could no longer place anymore faded on the board, so an auto loss.

Defeated again. But we did achieve some things we needed to do. We now have an answer for the faded. We can deal with them now. More about this next time when we can start using it in anger.


Running tomorrow

Sorry for the lack of updates this week, been busy with work and under the weather hasn't helped. But starting to feel better so will start getting back up to the regular pattern.

Tomorrow starting around 10am is the first Netrunner store tournament at The Hobbit Hole in Chatteris.

Naturally I'm going with my Noise and NEH decks.

I'm hoping it's the above store kit. But I do know the first place prize is even better this time because there is also a copy of Worlds of Android up for grabs. I've donated my spare copy to try and attract players, and build up the community locally.

Looking forward to some great games tomorrow.


Frustrated from Chatteris

Last night I I managed to get a couple of games of Netrunner in. Practice for the coming weekends store comp.

The first game was my Noise against a Weyland deck. The corp took an early lead on the agenda front while I was building up my deck. I was very cash rich at the start, with a David out, Street Magic, Aesops, incubator out in support. Two parasites in hand.

My opponent quickly iced up archives, had a scoring server setup. I did some runs to get targets for the parasites to hit. With a second incubator out I was thinking I'd load up a medium and hit R&D. My parasites were attacking ice protecting archives and the scoring server.

Trashing one of my incubators to take out the ice on archives. Bingo! Five agenda points, back in the game.

Trashed the second incubator taking out the second piece of ice I was attacking with the other parasite. My David steam rolled through the remaining ice to get me the last two points for the win.

In our second game despite some misplays by both of us, I scraped out a win on agenda points.

The rest of the gaming group were playing 7 Wonders with all the expansions. There was some Magic action going on, plus the retro version of Bolt Action, Flint Action.

And while all this gaming goodness was going on Robert was struggling with his inner demons trying to build decks for Netrunner. His frustration almost turning into rage. I've since found out he has quit the game!


Empires and Villages At Costa

After spotting the new mayor and his deputy supping daintily a coffee at Costa and saying hi, I had just enough time to pig out at the local Burger King, pick up my free Lego that the Daily Hate is giving away, before ending back at the Costa to meet Debbie and Jonathan for a Costa gaming session.

Before going I had debated internally whether to message Jonathan to bring Bohemian Villages, but ended up not doing so. Luckily Jonathan had bought it with him along with his 18p plus postage copy of Catan the card game.

So our first game of the afternoon was Bohemian Villages. Despite having a nice in play lead on the points front, my undoing was not completing villages to score my town halls and instead taking a negative points hit, whilst thinking I had a majority in churches that I didn't have.

Jonathan just hit it out of the park with the final scoring hitting sixty points. I made it to thirty eight points, with Debbie coming in third with a very close thirty five points. The negative points and not having the majority I thought I had cost me big time.

But still this played really well with three players. I'm still really loving this game.

Our next game was a first play for all of us, and that was Eight Minute Empire Legends. So we were learning a new game as we played it.

I thought this was going to be a lighter game. But wow was I pleasantly surprised. There is a surprisingly amount of deepness to the decisions you have to make. Deciding which card to choose, how much to pay for it, is it worth the cos?t, or do you wait hoping it will drop in cost? Do you take the card for its action to do immediately or for its ability? Or are you taking it to block a scoring opportunity for one of your opponents?

This is a nice little area control game. There are some nice touches to it. The board that you are battling over is variable and changes each game depending on the tiles you select. We played the basic game, which you would for a first time, but there are variants included such as the legend cards, the explore tokens, citadel tokens and encounter tokens. Which adds to the replayability of the game.

I like that the end game is achieved when every player has a certain number of cards in front of them (dependent on the number of players, in our three player game it was ten cards). So this means you have a finite number of turns to the game, a finite number of actions.

I like this game, it will be interesting to see how the variants affect the game play. Plus I have the expansion also which I haven't even looked at yet.

I'm glad this finally got to the table. I can't wait to get it back onto the table.

Another great afternoon gaming at Costa.


Minor building works

It's been a quiet week on building the collection. In fact if today's new arrival hadn't come there would have been no new additions at all.
Way back earlier in the year I took the opportunity to pre-order the 51st State “reboot” by Portal Games. That pre-order arrived this morning.
Portal ran their pre-order like a Kickstarter with “bonuses” being unlocked the more pre-orders they got. Here is the infographic they did to show what people were getting:

Going through the box after opening was like going through the layers of a chocolate box, each layer more delicious than the other.

The game with its wooden components and cardboard tokens do look gorgeous.

The instructions have a sense of humour that I really love, and bought a smile to my face with a little chuckle too.

The only down side from this wonderfully presented game is that it was missing the transfer sheet, and also it says two wooden faction discs with stickers and there was only one! So now I guess it's time to see what the Portal Customer support is like.

UPDATE just after posting: so we have a mini expansion in the game as part of the pre-order bonuses. Back of the tiles direct you to the website for the rules, which when you go there are nowhere to be found! It's the little things… And the ocd side of me is kicking in and starting to take the gloss off the warm fuzzy feeling I had opening the game.

Oh and you can read the collected game designer diary here (it's a PDF)


Arriving to a FLGS next week 16May16

There wasn’t anything last from the goodies we got showered with that caught my eye.

However from their bountiful riches that they deem us worthy to have three things caught my eye.

First up is a game I backed on Kickstarter Kodama, which is hitting the shelves at an rrp of £17.99. 

The game hasn’t hit my table yet, so I can’t pass comment on the game apart from its beautiful art.

Next up hot on the heels of the Omens of Ice expansion for Elder Sign comes Grave Consequences at £10.99. This did take me by surprise because somehow it had avoided my radar.

Apparently this expansion adds fifty new cards to the game.

The cards from Grave Consequences are divided into three modular decks: Phobia, Epic Battle, and Epitaph. These decks and their cards can be used together or separately, and they’re all fully compatible with the core game, as well as all of its expansions.

So sounds interesting.

Finally I’m not even sure why this was made. Thirty Munchkin meeples for £17.99! Why? I’m trying to think what game I’d use them with and coming up with nothing. 

So that’s the treats to look forward to next week.

As long as a John Bonham Drum Solo

Last night was the second Wednesday of the month and so the regular monthly Fenland Gamers meetup was held at its usual location in Wisbech.

We kind of had a theme last night of gateway/casual games. With a friend of mine from Peterborough and her daughter coming along for the first time, who aren't “gamers” but more noobs having played and loved Tsuro and Love Letter in the past and definitely not into the heavier side of gaming, our selection of games played were aimed at them.

Now I should point out that just because the games played are considered to be on the lighter side, that they are still great fun games for the more hardened gamer. Two of our evenings games are from my collection so that should say how I feel about those two games.

Our evenings gaming started off with a game of Sushi Go. Is it really nearly a year since I first played this game at the UK Games Expo, and bought instantly after the demo game? Drafting and set collection, great fun colourful art work. This is a lovely little game. And nearly a year later I still love it. I think the secret with these sort of games is not to over play them otherwise you get burned out, and no longer enjoy playing them. Having a variety of games that fill the same role that you can rotate, switch around, definitely is the secret to keeping these games fresh and favourites.

Our game of Sushi Go this evening was won by Katie.

We followed Sushi Go up with Batman Fluxx. This was an epic game of Fluxx. I don't think I've played a game of Fluxx that last this long, we must have been easily forty to fifty minutes. We had loads of new rules out, they'd get reset to the basic rules, then the new rules would build up. Everyone was trying to find a way to manipulate the cards to give them the win, but not getting close. We cycled through the discard pile twice!

I ended up with the goal that needed five or more Villians out in front of players and the Bat signal. Katie had the Bat signal in front of her. I had an action that allowed me to steal it. Wait I can win this on my next go, as long as no one else has a way of getting a win.

Jonathan took his go, no win. Then it was Katie, no win. My friends daughter, no win. Finally before my turn, my friend. Her last play was discard your hand then draw that number cards you discarded. Sixteen cards discarded, sixteen new cards! Why? Why would you do that?

Right my turn…

I got cocky, I asked Jonathan to draw my cards and just place them face down because I didn't care what they were! Right play my first card and steal the Bat signal from Katie. But Jonathan decided to throw a curve ball in my plan and bring it to an early end. He interrupted my action and instead was allowed to steal from my keepers. Damn! Right new rule Play All, OK better look at my hand. Wait, I still have a card I can play to steal the Bat signal. With the Bat signal safely in front of me, time to play the new goal and get the win!!! Victory! That was very closely me falling flat on my face in an embarrassing way after me being so cocky.

But what an epic long game.

Our final game of the evening was Camel Up. This is my second time playing the game. I gather Jonathan's kids must like it, because we suspect they played it last after Jonathan found it hadn't been packed away “correctly”.

Camel Up is a beautiful looking game. The pyramid dice shaker being the obvious show stopper of the game. The eyes are just attracted to it on the board. Not the most practical of things, but a wonderful tactile bit of theatrics.

Camel Up isn't in my collection. I don't like it enough to add it. Don't get me wrong the two times I've played it now I've had fun. But Colt Express fills a similar role in my collection.

Oh for the history books Katie walked away with the honours here too.

Whilst putting together the games to take for the evening I was going to throw in Age of War. But for the love of it I couldn't find it. I'd seen it earlier in the day. But now no sign of it. I could feel that little itch that starts when I lose something starting to kick in. I'd find no rest until I found it or got a replacement.

When I got home after a great evening gaming, I found the game. It was sitting under some Lego!! Mystery solved, itch stopped. I'd be able to sleep.


Duelling Decks

It was Tuesday, not a Formula D league night, so must have been Warlords Chatteris club night.
A new prospective member turned up last night with his Magic deck. We had chatted on the clubs Facebook page, so I acted as “host” for the evening. Heck the things I do for the club like having to play Magic with some-one.
We played our own preconstructed decks to start with, with Chris sitting in coaching the other person. Well we were/are still both relatively noobs to the game.
I was able to win by chipping away four points at a time.
Our second game was using the Blessed v Cursed Duel Decks from the new Shadows Over Innistrad set. These are prebuilt decks designed to battle each other. My opponent chose the black/blue deck, which was zombies and vampires. Whilst I had the White/blue deck, so angels and humans. I got an early advantage with flying monsters ie angels that weren't getting blocked. But that ground to a halt once my opponent got a couple of flying monsters, and stared building up a few monsters to eventually attack with. Neither of us attacked whilst we were building up our battlefields waiting to get the tactical advantage. Which fell to me first with having not just a superiority in number of flyers, but the total damage that would get through after being blocked was enough for me to deliver the knock out blow.
Our third and final game of Magic was another duel deck but this time from Zendikar. In fact it was easy to see I hadn't played these two decks because the cards were still sealed! There was some nice nback and forth. My opponent cleared my battlefield down to one monster with an instant, it also removed his token monsters he had out. But my single left monster and a land I could turn into a monster were enough for me to take the win again.
A great evening for me. A clean sweep of victories, I won't get that for a while playing Magic.