Monthly Archives: June 2016


Wednesday saw Jonathan, Debbie and myself meet up to learn how to play the new Tasty Minstrel Games game Guilds of London. A game the yanks don't have at the moment.

Jonathan and I bought our early copies at the UK Games Expo (yes I still have to write about that), where the designer Tony Boydell had a limited supply of early copies to sell.

I'd read the rule book once about a week before hand. Tom Vassel had also just put his review up of the game, and spoken about it on his podcast. It looks like Tom and myself agree on the rule book, that it could do with a little work. For instance it starts talking about Masters however you have no idea what a Master is, until much later when they are discussed.

For those that can't be bothered to read any further Jonathan and I both love the game. If you have already watched Tom's review. I think I agree with the points he made about the game.

There is a lot of iconography, which because of the pace of the game didn't really get in the way, the two reference/cheat sheets helped. Although TMG could have been more generous and provided four of these. I know I have complained about the iconography in Cthuhlu Realms getting in the way. With the pace of the game having to decode the iconography on the cards did get in the way of the game.

For a “euro” style game this is a pretty cut throat game, especially when it comes to negotiating the majority of a guild that needs resolving. But it's fun. Also it's possible to get combos going with the cards, and also when resolving guilds. Debbie was really pulling this off during the game, and did this this better than Jonathan and myself.

For the majority of our game I had the lead points wise upto the last two rounds. Unfortunately I didn't build up enough of a cushion to hold off late surges of point scoring from the completed guild cards during final scoring. I went from first to desperately holding onto second by a single point.

Back to the manual when we had to do the expand/growth phase and add more guilds to the board, the first additions were easy and just like the example in the manual. Come to the second time we had to do it, it was less clear where we laid the first tile for that growth.

I did like the variable second place rewards, these will be different for each guild everytime you play. Adds that bit of variety each game, and sometimes you want second place more than first for that reward.

There is so much to love about this game. I'm looking forward to playing it again.


A Short Post About Tuesday

Tuesday at the Warlords Chatteris club night saw some games being played by others.

However I did get to introduce John (owner of my FLGS The Hobbit Hole) to Ashes Rise of the Phoenixborn.

After “quickly” constructing two decks from the suggested ones in the rule book (which is a nice touch) it was time for…

I was playing Saria while John played Aradel. Coming from a Magic background John picked up the game quickly.

It was cool forcing John to mill cards from his deck. But I just wasn't doing it quick enough to have an impact on Aradels health. Although it was reducing his ability to do stuff like focusing ready spells.

However John ended up the victor. He enjoyed the game. But enough to start promoting it in store? Not yet. I'm going to have to arrange with him a demo day.

We did open up one of the OP kits I've got in for the tournament at the end of August. Oh boy the first place prize play mat is beautiful. It's nice that they included a full colour glossy copy of the organising an OP event booklet (also available as a PDF on their website). It's miles better than the FFG one that goes in the FFG OP kits.

I also have a load of these dice pool position cards from DriveThrough Cards done by an Ashes fan (can't remember who) to use at either a demo event or the OP in August. There might be enough for both actually.

So watch out for a demo day for Ashes at The Hobbit Hole either July or early August.


Streets of Commonville now on BGG

“Finally! The Streets of Commonville have come to bgg.” As The Rock would most likely say if he was a boardgame player, and had played the game.

You seen the playtest videos, and read my blog posts, and if you were lucky enough at the expo, played the game. Now there is at last a bgg page for the game where you can discuss the game, follow its progress etc.

You can find the page HERE


Pandemic Legacy Season One Finale

Monday saw the Gang of Four get together to attempt to get a win for the final month of December. Would it take both attempts? Would we even got a win? Our track record hasn't been that great so far, the game really has been owning us.

With the board setup, the three remaining objectives out, and looking at only having to complete two out of the three, we might just stand a chance of ending the game on a high.

Debbie read the mission brief for December. Our current objectives were all of a sudden the old torn up objectives. We now had two new objectives, one of them we had to find a stock pile of the CoDa virus hidden in all places Atlanta. Wow a final curve ball.

Debbie had swapped out her character for the virologist. Which with mine meant we had the characters good at curing the faded and vaccinate the faded cities. And that was to be our main task.

We focused a lot on locating that hidden stock pile. We were getting close. But we got washed away with tides of pandemics. The game had smacked us down once more, reminding us who the boss is.

With the board reset, this was it our final chance of going out with a win.

Debbie and I divided the globe for dealing with the faded, and vaccinating the cities. Matt and Jonathan were to control the virus outbreaks, AND find the stockpile.

Naturally Debbie and I helped out where we could. We found the stockpile. Phew one objective down. Plus we had found a cure. That helped take the pressure off. But we were burning through the player deck.

We had a win in sight. But did we have enough time? There were five cards left in the player deck! Debbie would be able to do her part of the plan to win. That accounted for two of the final five cards. Then it would be Matts turn, another two cards gone. If I couldn't do my part of the plan we'd lost. But I executed our plan to perfection. I vaccinated our final city to grab the win. It doesn't get closer than that.

We totalled up our score for our play through and ended up with a final score of 448. Not in the lowest bracket, so a little relief there.

Final thoughts…

So first up we got twenty plays out of this game. So for a £45 play through once legacy game, I think we got our monies worth out of the game. I know some suggest you can then use your final board and play the game as a regular pandemic, but with that personal touch. But I'm not sure I'd do that. I might give it a try.

For us we thought it was a bit on the mean side. Several times with victory in sight we managed to snatch a defeat.

Loved the story element of the game, and the new bits they threw in like the faded, vaccinations and searching. And the little faded figures, oh they are sooo cool. I thought the little vaccine pills looked like amber ants eggs. Not sure about the road blocks, we didn't really use these, the quarantine tokens I liked. The different building types were a nice touch.

I have to admit when I had to tear up my first card in the game I was a bit hesitant about it. But by the end I quite enjoyed it.

Overall I loved the whole experience of the game. It really worked. The plot twists, even when my character turned out to be a traitor and was gone from the game, were cool. Our issue as the graph above shows was the getting together to play.

I can't wait until Season Two, and see where the story takes us.


Hero Realms Explores Kickstarter

Yesterday say the start of the next White Wizard Games Kickstarter project.

Due to hit October sometime (always take these estimated delivery dates with a pinch of salt, although White Wizard Games have been pretty good in hitting theirs in the past) Hero Realms is a deck building game using the Star Realms engine with some RPG elements thrown in.

Naturally I've backed the project not just for myself but also for Nath as well. I love Star Realms, Epic is a good game, so the track record for me is a good one (I've erased Cthulhlu Realms from TMG from my mind and history).

Within 24 hours they have hit their modest $100k target (at time of writing they are just shy of $145k) so stretch goals are starting to be unlocked like promo cards.

If you want to go see what all the fuss is about or back it, you can visit the Kickstarter page HERE


One thing new out next week ws13Jun16

Amongst the “mainstream” games restocks, and the new Yu-Gi-Oh stuff there was only one thing that caught my eye in the weekly propaganda broadcasts from the Esdevium empire.

This week sees the sixth and final data pack in the Mumbad Cycle for Android Netrunner. And I think,it's obvious by now how I feel about this game.

And that's it. So after the UK Games Expo and pre-Origins we, well me really, as this is a what interests me post, is getting a light week on my wallet.

Don't worry post Origins and GenCon they will be hitting our wallets big time.


A Brush With Fame

Thanks to my friend Duncan pointing this out. It appears if you slow the Dice Tower podcast live at the UK Games Expo video down and play the audio backwards, you can spot me in the audience.

If you wanted something a little less conclusive and ambiguous that shows I was in the front row, here is that evidence. 

This is a bit like my claim that I’m in the Guns ‘n Roses Paradise City video!

Technically I am. Along with the 108,000 or whatever the audience figure was for the ’88 Monsters of Rock concert the footage is from, when they do the sweeping crowd shot. If memory serves me right my brother and I were not far away from the scaffolding in the middle holding the mixing desk etc.

So that is luckily for the world the nearest I will get to being on the Dice Tower channel. I hope you enjoyed my fifteen nanoseconds of fame.

Rolling Dice on a Friday Evening

August will see me hopefully back in full time employment! Assuming everything between now and then goes to plan.

Which means I was spreading the good news to my fellow fenland gamers at the weekly Friday Evening gaming sessions at The Angel Inn.

If Debbie had arrived earlier we would have had a first play of New York 1901. However Jo and I were just about to pack it away as she arrived because there would not have been enough time to play it before Jonathan was due to turn up.

Instead we ended up playing the classic Age of War. Debbie took an early lead, that was soon closed and over taken by Jo. For me it was another chance for the dice to continue showing their contempt and hate for me that they started on Wednesday at the monthly meetup. The dice even gave me a glimmer of hope of at least not coming last, but firmly shut that door in my face. Of course Jonathan and Jamie arrived just in time to help rub salt in the wound of being last.

We followed up my glorious defeat with a five player game of Forbidden Island. Yes we know it's four players maximum, something we “stumbled” upon half way through the game as it was kicking our collective butts. Now Jonathan had bought this game at the expo after being told off by his eldest daughter for having traded his previous copy away. I had a copy sitting in my pile of shame. So despite having been defeated by another Matt Leacock game, we did get three of the four treasures before the helicopter landing spot sunk. Plus it's one more game removed from my pile of shame.

Our final game of the evening was a new game to me from Dice Hate Me (and at the the moment they certainly do) called The Great Heartland Hauling Co. I really liked this pick up and delivery game.

You move your lorry either by spending cash, which in reality you want to avoid doing because this is also your victory points. Or by using any fuel cards in your hand. The nice touch is you can't mix and match cash and fuel cards to move. Plus fuel cards range in value from one to three. You have to move as the first thing you do. So if you don't have fuel cards it's going to cost you points. However you may not have enough fuel cards to get to where you want to go, so you may have to spend cash instead. But if you were going to sell, will you be making a loss because you spent cash to get there? Some lovely decisions to me made.

Then there is the buying and selling goods. To buy goods you need a card of that good you want to buy. And the reverse is true to sell it. However if the good isn't a “native” good to the location you are buying at the cost of buy a good goes up by one. So to say buy three pork/pigs you would need three pork/pig cards or if it is none native the most you would be able to buy would be two at the cost of four pork/pig cards. The reason for this is the max hand size you can have is five cards. In fact you will always have five cards, because at the end of your turn you draw back up to five cards.

Luckily selling isn't handicapped by the “native” rule of buying. If there is a market for your good at the location, you may sell as many goods as you have in stock and cards for. Add the money to your score and start plotting your next delivery.

Once some-one hits thirty points, the other players get one more turn and its game over. Any left over goods you have are negative points and get taken off, and the player left with the highest score wins. Which in our case was Debbie. But the good thing is I didn't come last in our game.

So with the great evening of gaming over. Jonathan and I grabbed a kebab from down Norfolk Street before saying our farewells. I then went off to scoff my kebab in my car before seeing the enjoyable new X-Men movie at The Luxe, and take the mickey out of Nath there for his tv appearance earlier in the week.

Overall a great end to a good week.


June’s Monthly Fenland Gamers Meetup

It's been a real busy week, which has meant I'm behind in my rabblings about my rock n roll gaming life.

I'd missed Tuesday's gaming session at Chatteris. I'd made the call that I needed to spend the time finishing off my lesson for the following days one hour micro teach I was doing as part of an interview I'd had for a job of a localish college. The previous micro teach had been a bit of a flop because of the setup process of the software we were using for the lesson. But I'd been given a second bite of the cherry thanks to impressing enough during the interview I had. I didn't want to muck up this second chance.

Wednesday was the monthly meetup of the Fenland Gamers. I was feeling pretty good because I felt I had done a pretty good micro teach that morning. The extra prep had paid off.

The monthly meet was really well attended. We even had cookies from my official cake maker Doreen to devour while playing. And yes they were every bit as good as her scrumptious cakes. One day I hope Doreen comes along with Sam to get the standing ovation from the club she deserves. Oh and to try some cool games.

Because of the great turn out we split into two groups to play games.

In our group we started off playing King of Tokyo with the power up expansion. One of the bits of news, in fact the only bit from the UK Expo I heard about so far was the new fifth anniversary edition coming out of King of Tokyo. It's getting a make over of the art work, removing two monsters to make way for two new new ones. One of the new ones is the going to be the Space Penguin, which currently is very elusive and expensive to get, mainly due to having been a promo at events. So that market is gone. The card art is changing, including the back of card art, so no backwards compatibility with the current edition. Well on the cards you buy in game that is. However there are plans to release card sleeves so any promo cards you have can be used with the new edition. Plus there is talk of an “upgrade” kit of the new monsters that current owners can buy also. Iello also said that the upcoming King of New York Power Up expansion will have power up cards for both King of New York and the new edition of King of Tokyo. Which I think is a clever move. It gets the power up cards for the new monsters out there quickly, so people can play with the power up expansion. Which lets face it adds to the game greatly. The final improvement is that the rules have also been made easier to understand!

Back to our play of the game, Gavin managed to knock out Sam and myself at the same time. Leaving himself and Katie to fight it out for the title of King of Tokyo. I was cheering on Katie to revenge me.

Katie and Gavin traded blows, until Katie took a much deserved points victory that Gavin was unable to stop.

While we had been knocking several shades of excrement out of each other, and causing incalculable damage and deaths to Tokyo (who honestly would want to be King of the left over rubble?) the other group were teaching Ticket to Ride.

The gaming groups stayed the same. Our group went empire building with Nations the Dice Game, whilst the other group decided to try and save the world from four killer diseases in Pandemic the Cure.

I got my butt truly kicked at Nations. My dice really did hate me. I rolled hardly anything I could use. My very first action of the game was a reroll. As everyone else was building up their civilisation, getting extra and swapping dice, I was struggling to do anything. Katie totally ruled the game and took an early lead that the others struggled to keep in touch with. I wasn't even in the running.

Yeah I was last, with Sam coming in third and chuckling that she had beat me. Gavin got closer to Katie than I expected but she still romped home to victory.

Another great evening of gaming, amazing cookies, and great banter (I know the girls Debbie and Jo enjoyed Sam delivering me my come uppance on the banter side).