Monthly Archives: July 2016

FEG@TA Tonite


Just a reminder that this evening is the regular weekly Fenland Gamers meet up that we have at The Angel Inn in Wisbech.

Start time is approximately 5pm, finishing roughly around 9pm-9:30pm. Followed usually by a run to a near by perveyor of dodgey meat with chilli sauce establishment to top the evening off.


So if you fancy getting out of the house for a reason other than the enjoyable pastime of collecting pokemon in Pokemon Go, playing some great games whilst enjoying a grown up beverage, followed by the optional questionable meat in a wrap. Then we’d love to see you at The Angel this evening.

My Two Overrated Games

In this weeks Dice Tower podcast starring Tom Vassel and Eric Summerer they do their top ten overrated games.

I think in the last year I’ve played two games that would make it onto my list.

The first up is Between Two Cities, the tile drafting game, ranked 423 on bgg.

When this came out it was getting some good reviews, a little buzz. But when we played it, it left us feeling “meh”, and rather unsatisified. There was nothing about the game that excited us. Jonathan and I couldn’t see what all the fuss was. I personally think this game is too high up on the bgg rankings. I would easily drop it a couple of thousand places.

My second game that would make this list is a more recent darling of the gaming world, and that is Quadropolis.

This was an even bigger “meh” than Between Two Cities. How this got to position 286 on bgg is a mystery. I can only think too many people fell for the hype for this city building game.

This game is just dull. No redeeming qualities. And should be so so much lower down.

So there you have it my two overrated games. Which I’m sure would get me lots of heat if this was a widely read blog. But I know regular readers will be of a similar opinion to me on this.

UPDATE: it was pointed out to me over on Facebook by Jonathan that he’d add the newly crowned Kennerspiel winner Isle of Skye (IoS). Now I liked IoS more than Jonathan, there were bits to like. Which is more than I could say about my two selections above. After playing IoS for me at least I came away thinking I’d played an OK game. Should it be 209th on bgg? Or even have won the Kennerspiel? No way.
UPDATE: on Instagram this morning nettersplays finally played Quadropolis. You can see her reaction below, sounds like her reaction was just like mine. As is one or two of the commenters. 


Half Year Stats 2016

I thought it would be a cool thing to look at the stats for the first half of the year.

I can't believe in just over a half year I've played 88 games! That's insane. My guess would have been 30 to 40. Not 88. Wow!

I'm not sure where the BG Stats gets the times for time. It's a new addition to the app. I'm assuming its picking these up from bgg. It's an interesting stat that I think isn't very accurate. We certainly took longer than 10 hours playing Pandemic Legacy.

 

Yet another award for…

So today saw the announcement of the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres winners.


The winner of the Spiel des Jahres was the super popular game Codenames. Whilst the winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres was Isle of Skye.

So I’m betting you are just dying to know what a middle aged, rotund, balding man thinks of the results.

So fitting that demographic perfectly let me tell you.

I think Codenames is a good winner. I’ve heard Tom Vassel throw around the figure of over 400,000 copies sold already. So it’s a very popular winner. But is the game any good? I think so, as does the majority of the Fenland Gamers. We enjoy playing it. One or two have bought their own copies. I have to say I think I’d be happier if Imhotep had won. For me it’s a better game.

Considering the games Isle of Skye was up against this is the biggest surprise. For me Pandemic Legacy is a better game. I can’t say if Time Stories is, because it hasn’t hit my table yet. But if I had to put money on it, I’d be betting that Isle of Skye is the weakest of the three games.

Unusually for me, this year I’ve played four out of the six games in the two awards. I do think it’s a very strong selection of games. My feelings about Isle of Skye will be backed up when it’s award will die of loneliness, whilst Pandemic Lagacy will be building an extension to house all of its. And the only game(s) that will match it for awards collected will be Codenames and Time Stories.

All Change – Again!

Last week seemed the week that FFG and PlaidHat decided they would release errata to their LCG/miniature games.

First up PlaidHat have released an errata for one of the cards from Ashes. Not much of an inconvience for me as I'm not deckbuilding yet (although I need to start pdq). But what I like about this announcement is that although people are going to have to print out the correction, and use sleeves, PlaidHat are looking at ways to make replacement cards available. My suggestion would be to make the updated card available from Drive Thru Cards, it takes the production costs away from PlaidHat. I wish FFG would use something like this, or make the errata'd cards they announce available to buy somehow.

Above: original card on left, errata version middle & right, right OP kit alt art errata version

Naturally the errata'd version of Enhanted Violinist will be the only version allows at the OP event I'm organising in a months time.

PlaidHat have also released “improved” draft rules for Ashes too. I've not played the game in draft format, but they do seem better than the ones in the included rule book.

Oh oh oh, just thought please please PlaidHat could we have another alt art Enchanted Violinist but this time using Lindsey Stirling as the art? It would be soooo uber cool if you did that.

Right FFG have released a LOT of errata and updates. For me this means I have to look at the Imperial Assault (IA) and Netrunner ones. I've not looked at the changes for IA, but would expect to see new tournament legal skirmish maps to include the wave 6 skirmish maps. Plus more cards being “tweaked” so they are not breaking the game any more.

The one I have looked at naturally is the Netrunner updates. I play anarch and NBN and it seems these updates are specifically aimed at nerfing them. On the most wanted list, Faust and David have been added along with Wyldside. Which hits my Noise deck big time. I've got some decisions to make now if I want to keep playing them. I'd just been looking at Mumba Temple for my NEH deck, but hey guess what is now on the list? Things are even tighter on my NEH deck, not sure I can get rid of anything to give me the two influence I'd need. Plus Breaking News has been added to the list. And that really screws me. I may have to review the use of this agenda. But what to replace it with?

Plus we have errata for some cards, these don't hit me, well I'm pretty sure they don't. But the fast advance NEH has had the breaks put on it with the Astroscript Pilot Program being limited to one per deck now.

I do like this approach by FFG and PlaidHat, I wouldn't like a card to be banned. At least this way I can still play the cards. It's just I have to make decisions about how much I really want to play them, and how I can fit them in, whilst working out what has to go to make way for them.

Here is the Ashes ERRATA

Here is the FFG ERRATA

 

FEG@TA 15Jul16


This week saw another game move off my pile of shame. Finally I got the game Biblios Dice to the table.

Debbie, myself and Debbie’s Nath learnt to play Biblios Dice whilst waiting for others to turn up.

While setting the game up, just like Dead of Winter I discovered that a dice was missing! This time a black dice, which I was able to use a regular white dice I had as a substitute. But regular readers of this very niche blog will know I’ll be testing the publishers support out when I get home. 

Talking of support Fun Forge still months after raising the issue with them of the broken figure, have not replaced it. They keep saying they will post a replacement but never do. It’s become a matter of principle now that they will replace the figure. But shockingly bad customer support from them.

Anyway once we had got what the game was about, and how to play. Which was pretty quick. We had a good time playing the game.

There are some nice touches to the game. Like being forced to move your counter up each of the tracks. Otherwise at the end there is a negative points penalty. 

I like the two end game trigger conditions. In ours it was reaching the top of the Bishop track. But we also had 50% of the other condition complete as well with a player at the top of two of the other tracks. 

The bonuses on the tracks at key points a nice touch. First player to reach one bonus spot gets the biggest bonus at that spot, next player gets a smaller bonus and so on. 

Plus player order on a track mattering at the end is nice when it comes to scoring a track. Tie that in with the manipulation of the points each track scores during the game, then things get very tactical. 

I love the dice selection, and the decisions you are forced to make, because there is usually at least two or more dice you’d love to be able to choose.

Auctions and bidding although not complicated is just right for this game. And I love what may seem like harsh reprocussions for over bidding. Loosing all your money, having to reveal victory points collected and being excluded from next auction. Tough but fair.

Overall a fun game.

While we were playing Biblios Dice, Jonathan and his daughter arrived. So while waiting for me to win Biblios Dice (spoiler I did), they tried to escape the Forbidden Island with their artefacts. But being a Matt Leacock game naturally they failed big time, with the game winning.

With us all now able to play a game together we played Qwixx. Jonathan had been wanting to play this game for a while. After being destroyed by his daughter at the game (I got my lowest score so far in this game), what did Jonathan think of the game? He went straight online to add it to his Amazon basket (assuming they would have it). So that’s a big he liked it I think.

What would turn out to be our final game of the evening due to The Angel getting rather busier than normal for the time we are there, and the loud “dance” music, one of my recent favourites Bohemian Villages hit the table.

As per usual for this game a player (Debbie) forgot to collect money before rolling the dice, so lost that money. Luckily it was early on, so just one coin. But a loud cheer from Jonathan and myself burst out when it happened.

Jonathan and myself were up to our usual self offering advice to the others on their turn to try and manipulate things to teduce the scoring opportunities of each other. Trying to get Jonathan’s daughter to choose Debbie’s meeple to kick off a building I said “remember all those cheap tacky birthday presents you didn’t like she bought you” only to be corrected by Debbie and Jonathan with “what presents?” Which helped my lame attempts at manipulation. 

Gaming etiquette was ignored this evening by Debbie’s Nath when he refused to reroll a cocked dice! Blasphemy! Not sporting and soooo wrong. So although he ended up just above (spoiler) last place Debbie or fourth. It was a tainted fourth because of this. 

Jonathan’s daughter and I destroyed the others in final scoring. And I narrowly beat her by three points. Our scores were my 66 points to her 63 points. The others were in the 40’s, not even close. What was nice was when Jonathan’s daughter having been possibly coached/egged on by certain irresponsible individuals (me) at the table returned the “in your face” to her dad. Family feud gold ^__^

But Jonathan’s daughter didn’t take defeat easily and threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to another game soon, promising to crush me.

A great shorter than usual evening of gaming, followed up with the now regular large lamb donar kebab. Which is a great way to finish off any gaming evening.

´╗┐Fenland Gamers First Birthday


Wednesday saw the nearest monthly meet up of The Fenland Gamers to its first birthday (which was a couple of weeks approximately earlier I believe). So this had to be celebrated in some way. 

We had already provided cake to our hosts to thank them for letting us use their building for our meet ups.

So we also had cake to celebrate the clubs first birthday. Awesome cake by master cake maker Doreen. Who also came along to this meet up.

For the record this was our best attended record of all time so far.

Once again to cater for our newer members we played gateway games, such as King of Tokyo, Camel Up, Fluxx, Qwixx and Forbidden Island.

Although to see people form alliances to deny me a victory in King of Tokyo was a bit… words can’t describe the hurt I’m going through! Robbed! 

Everyone had a good time. It was a great way to celebrate the clubs first birthday.

I’m really glad Jonathan and Matt started the club up and somehow stumbled across me online and invited me along.

In the time I’ve been a member I’ve had a great time, made some great friendships, and really enjoy the “friendly” rivalry that Jonathan and I have at the table.

Here’s to the next year of the club.

Worlds second greatest detective

Monday saw Jonathan, Debbie, Jo and myself take on the roles of Baker Street Irregulars. Whose soul aim is to win approval from “Sheer-Luck” Holmes by solving crimes/mysteries in the game Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective.

The owner of a weapons manufacturing company is found shot dead in the alley behind his company. It’s the duty of our brain trust to follow the clues and solve this case of mystery and intrigue.

To aid us in this endeavour we have a “newspaper”, a map of London, a directory and a clue book.

Based on clues you find at locations around the map, you visit new locations, gather more clues, until you think you have solved the case.

In our case we thought we had it all worked out, we had our suspects and we’re just about to drop the hammer on them. But first we wanted to confirm our findings by visiting one more place and witness.

However instead of the confirmation we were seeking, we ended up with a new suspect. And it was all down to a brilliant moment from Debbie, who had somehow picked up on a clue from the original that the rest of us had ignored/ruled out/not picked up on. But it was to take our original suspects out of the picture and put a new one front and centre.

At the end of the game, when you think you know the solution to the case, you have to answer a series of questions about the case. You then score points for the correct answers given, then you take off points for the number of extra locations (not including any free ones) you needed to visit over and above the target set by Sherlock. You then compare your score against Sherlocks 100 percent to see how you did.

I thought this sandbox deduction game was ok. Jo and Jonathan found the script font in the clue book hard to read. Which wasn’t a problem for me. 

We didn’t record all the locations we visited because we didn’t know we had to. So our final score wasn’t entirely accurate. But we know better next time.

I think this game is really dependent on who you are playing with. You definitely are going to need pen and paper while playing to make notes.

Finally here’s a picture Jonathan took of me looking bored! But I was not I was reviewing my notes and listening intently!

Dice and Cards at Costa

Sunday was time for a hot beverage and some games with friends.

Debbie and her bo Nath joined me at Costa to game the afternoon away.

We started off with a couple of games of Qwixx. This is fastly becoming a fav little filler game.

I’d just packed Qwixx away when Jamie and Lucas turned up.

Our next game was Rolling America. This was our first time playing the game. So our first play was going to contain the odd mistake for sure.

I like this too. It’s nice that it is limited to eight rounds. It’s surprising how quick this plays out.

Because of the placement rules for putting a number on the map, along with a limited supply of being able to guard numbers, copying them, and a third thing I can’t remember you soon get some interesting, even challenging decisions to make.

This is another “filler” game with surprising depth that doesn’t take ages to play.

After our second game of Rolling America Jamie and son had to leave in search of strawberries.

Our final game was another game we hadn’t played before, but had been sitting in my pile of shame for a while, Valley of the Kings.

This is a nice little deck builder, which has some nice little decisions that players have to make. There is the ability for a little “take that” against other players by forcing them to discard cards or put them into the boneyard. 

The Egyption theme is cool, and educational! The collapsing pyramid trade row is a nice touch that stands it out from other deck builders.

Debbie and Nath hadn’t played a deck builder before, and they enjoyed this one.

I’d say a nice deck builder for fans of the mechanic and new players.

A relaxing, enjoyable afternoon of coffee and gaming with great people.

To the face

Having finally managed to get Esdevium to let them have an OP kit for Star Realms. My FLGS hastily arranged a competition for Saturday to win its contents after another planned event had to be cancelled.

So six of us with no lives and lots of free time at weekends sat indoors at our FLGS playing Star Realms, instead of being out in the world experiencing life.


My first game was against our youngest competitor. Two quick games and two quick wins for me. I almost had a twinge of guilt, but I managed to force those feelings back. And I feel proud of this next bit, I resisted screaming in the little girls face “in your face!”

My second match up was against Ben. This was basically us playing our games from the app in real life. I think I have the slight edge in wins in the app.

Through out our games when ever we dealt damage to the other player something like the following would be said “that’s four to your outpost and ten to the face.”

After two games we were one a piece. So a decider was needed, which Ben won. All three games were very close. 

The final match up for me was against the father of our youngest entrant. Who as you will remember I had destroyed. Sadly for me, this was the time daddy avenged his daughters loss and wiped the floor with me. 

So with the event over, I ended up fourth with a 3-4 game record. So outside of the main prize support. But I had the play mat already and yes the box would have been nice but I have a box also. But I did need the promos I got for Nath. Which means I was more than happy with that.

Oh Ben ended up in first place and proud owner of the play mat. With Bob taking second and the storage box.

So a great day playing Star Realms. Everyone enjoyed themselves, lots of banter, lots of fun. Now the “discussion” over the format of the Epic OP event. There are some conflicting views on this. One camp wants draft, while I’m on the righteous constructed side. But my full thoughts on this are best in another post.