Monthly Archives: March 2017

A feast of mints

Woohoo! It’s the weekend.

And my weekend starts at 4pm as soon as the last student has left my classroom. Just over two hours later I’ll be gaming with friends. 

I get home, quickly throw some games into a bag. As far as I’m aware at this point in the time space continuum it’s myself and Diego that are meeting up. And that knowledge informs my game selection. 

In the hotel car park Diego is just about to enter the hotel as I pull in. 

We get our poison of choice, and retire to the “gaming room” (ok it’s not really a “gaming room” it’s the restaurant area with a bloody lovely large wooden table we are allowed to play on) to play our games in comfort.

Diego and I played Mint Works, a game that was literally burning a hole in my pocket since it’s arrival. It’s a worker placement game that fits in a pocket easily (I should do a post about my current “micro” games in my bag).

I liked Mint Works. It gives that worker placement experience in a small, quick package.

Naturally that little altoid tin it comes in is awesome. Like Love Letter it has that whole “wait, there’s a game in this small package” thing going on. 

The only complaint I have over component quality is my first player counter. As you can see above one side shouldn’t have passed quality control. I like how the counters you play with look like mints. The graphic design on the cards is functional, and easy to understand. It’s not going to win best art work of the year.

The rules are simple and quick to learn, and teach.

It’s a nice simple, quick to play (about 20 minutes) game. 

This is going to stay in my bag, ready to pull out and play at a moments notice.

We had just finished playing when Chris turned up with A Feast for Odin in hand.

Wow this game is mind blowing.

Setting up just puts you in a state of shock when you see the amount of components the game has. It’s like Rosenberg decided to set some sort of Guiness world record for most components in a game. A challenge of sorts to other game designers, “beat this I dare you”. 

You look at the main board where you will be selecting your actions, and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed initially. There’s a lot of actions you can potentially do on a turn.

This is not a simple game. It’s definitely one that needs a few plays to get to grips with. Well that’s my excuse for losing.

A Feast for Odin definitely feels like Rosenberg put two or three of his previous games in a blender and this was the blended smoothy result. And this smoothy tastes good.

I definitely enjoyed this much much more than one of its patents Agricola/Caverna.

At the end of the evening Chris told us he managed to get a reasonably priced copy of the much in demand, and between printings, Great Western Trail. I’m looking forward to Chris bringing it along for us to play.

Yeah the weekend got off to another great start.

Challenge Update Mar 17

I thought I would do a challenge update post. A kind of public admission of guilt for how poorly (spoiler alert) I’m doing.

First up “My Big Game Challenge”.

I’ve actually added a new game to this challenge. That game being the epic hidden traitor game Battlestar Galactica. So does that make the challenge harder? I don’t know. But I did manage to tick one off the list, when I managed to finally get Mechs vs Minions to the table. As regular readers will know I did rather like this game. Xia: Legends of a Drift System won’t be hitting the table until the later half of the year. Mainly because I don’t have the game yet, and my copy via Kickstarter is delayed until June I believe.

The second and final challenge I set myself was my “City Building Challenge”.

There has been no progress made on this challenge. I know technically I’ve played three of the games (Dice City was played before the recording of plays) and I fiddled the start date to take into account Porta Nigra having been played. But still this should be the easier challenge to complete, or even make progress on, and I have not.

So despite a record breaking gaming month for me in February, the progress so far on these challenges is slow.

BTN Feb 2017

It’s a new month, a busy start at work has delayed this post by a couple of days. Which for some readers will come as a relief.

So let’s get straight in to looking at the numbers behind last months gaming.

Wow when you look at the following numbers for February, just wow.

I played 29 different games last month, 11 of them were new to me (1 was new in the sense I had played it but before I had started recording my game plays). I think with the amazing number of plays also, this has to be probably the best month of gaming I have had so far since records began (just over a year now).

Plus this wasn’t all down to me playing lots of light games. There is a nice mix between the different styles.

Looking back at February 2016, and it’s like OMG! The difference is amazing. I almost feel like I did play any games back then compared to now.

As usual I also generate a graphical view of the number of games played, and the number of plays. That just makes this months gaming figures look even more dramatic.

My Game of the Month…

It was a strong month for games played. For a handful of them any other month and they would have been my choice that month. But one just stood out from the crowd. This months game of the month is Santorini.

The game is proving a big hit in our game group. Jonathan added it to his collection,  he was one of the lucky ones able to find a copy. It sold out fast when it hit the supply chain and the FLGS. Which means it’s sitting on Debbie’s wish list at the moment.

Worst Game of the Month…

I think despite the massive misplays, Dead Men Tell No Tales has to be the worst game I played in February. It’s not that bad that I am consigning it to the Nantucket Wing of Shame (conveniently built round Jonathan’s). I just don’t think there was enough there to make me want to go back and try playing the game correctly. And it’s for that reason Dead Men Tell No Tales has this infamous honor.

SIDE NOTE: Despite Jonathan having underhandedly offloaded Nantucket with New Bedford in a trade/sale recently. He will forever be the home of the Nantucket Wing of Shame.

Hopefully hitting the table in March…

I think I did really well last month with all the games I mentioned making it to the table. So here are the ones I’d like to try and play in March.

  • Star Wars Rebellion – yeah I’m caving and want to try it. Luckily one of our clubs members has the game in their collection.
  • Broom Service – I want to play Kiki’s Delivery Service the game!! Ok I know it’s not, but it sure could be.
  • Mech vs Minions – well after really enjoying the first play of it, I want to play more of the missions.
  • Mint Works – I have no excuse why this hasn’t been played since getting it.

Fenland Gamer Events for March (so far)…

  • The monthly meetup (next Wednesday)
  • The weekly Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion (or FEG@WL as I call it)
  • Mechs vs Minions (still currently 2 spaces available)
  • A second attempt at T.I.M.E. Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons (full booked)
  • Finale of Season 2 of our Formula D League (was on the 1st)
  • NSPCC Big Board Game Day

If you are in the area and want to attend one of the events, please visit the Fenland Gamers Facebook page for further details about the event.

Won the battle…

But lost the war.

That best describes the finale for our second season of Formula D.

The starting positions for this race were:

Pole position – Debbie

2nd – Jonathan

3rd – Katie (3rd in previous race)

4th – Me (2nd place in previous race)

5th – winner of the last race Diego

The track for this showdown was the base games Monaco circuit.

Jonathan had the perfect start and had the automatic 4 space start. While the rest of us luckily didn’t stall, and had to settle for ones or twos. But by the first corner that great start had been squandered, and Jonathan was sitting at the back of the pack.

Briefly I was in the lead, but going into the first three stop corner I was now at the back. However somehow I had my tactics spot on for the corner, and was coming out of it on a higher gear than the others, that allowed me to jump back into the running again. I think this was the best I had ever navigated my way round that corner. Wish I had paid attention to what I had been doing.

By the time the last corner was being negotiated Katie was in the lead, ready to do a pit stop. I was close behind in second. While Debbie, Jonathan and Diego were fighting it out behind us.

I thought I could exploit the fact Katie was having a pitstop to take the lead and build a buffer between us. And I did take the lead from Katie, however not a big enough one to stop Katie spending the rest of the second lap duelling for top spot. Katie had been a bit more reckless/unlucky and was down to one tire point. So had to be more careful than me on corners. And it was this that allowed me to take the lead at a crucial point when Katie span out on the set of two stop corners.

Meanwhile while Katie and I were battling for first place, there was an equally fluid battle for third spot. That was looking like Jonathan had the advantage and third place, with Debbie being in front of Diego, who was last.

But that last set of two stop corners was also turning out to be a crucial area, it allowed Diego to over take Debbie, and slowed Jonathan down.

As the last three were about to hit the final corner, I sped across the finish line in first place. Taking my first victory in our league. Katie took second comfortably.

I thought Jonathan was a cert for third spot. But Diego out of nowhere it seemed, and much better dice rolls, stole whatever little glory was left away from him.

The final race results were:

  1. Me
  2. Katie
  3. Diego
  4. Jonathan
  5. Debbie

The final standings after our three race season were as follows:

  1. Katie (1,3,2)
  2. Me (4,2,1)
  3. Diego (5,1,3)
  4. Jonathan (2,4,4)
  5. Debbie (3,5,5)

Katie successfully defended her title. But only just. It was a narrow margin she won by. Whilst Debbie also successfully held on to the “Driving Miss Daisy” Cup. So named because obviously last place was driving like they were taking an old lady round the track.

A great last race for season 2. Will Katie manage to defend her title in season 3? We will add in the weather rule for that season!