Monthly Archives: August 2017

Who needs cake?

It’s been an awesome bank holiday weekend for gaming. Three days of playing games that culminated with the second birthday celebration of the long weekend (this time Edmunds birthday) and a game of Scythe.

Apparently Edmund and Charlie haven’t gotten over the “betrayal” Friday night.

Whilst Edmund and I were both playing one of the “new” factions from Invaders from Afar (I was Clan Albion, Edmund was Togawa Shogunate). Charlie was playing one of the original five factions Polania.

Which meant Charlie and I were next to each other on the board, and Edmund was all on his lonesome on the opposite side of the map.

With Charlie so close he was able to block me off from getting an early factory card. Starting with zero combat cards made breaking out hard. Which allowed Edmund to get to the factory for first pick and plant an annnoying trap on that space.

By the time Charlie realised the threat of Edmund it was too late. Edmund had his engine all in place and sprinted to the finish line.

After the scoring was done Edmund had thrashed us both. But justice was done with Charlie coming last. 

A great afternoons gaming celebrating Edmunds birthday. Thank you Edmund for inviting me. I had a great time. 

Oh btw if you ever hear me say the words used for the title of this post or “I’ll have a decaf coffee” these are my code phrases for “I’m being held against my will and need rescuing”.

Dungeon Madness

Yesterday was a good day. Gaming and Liverpool decimated Arsenal. Hard to top that for a Sunday. Jonathan has been rather busy with life stuff recently. This work thing just gets in the way of everything. So it was good to get a chance to meet up and play a couple of games at the local coffee emporium Costa.

Our first game while enjoying our beverages was Dairyman (owned by Jonathan). 

What can I say about the game? It’s a pleasant, light, push your luck dice game. I think between this and Go Nuts for Donuts (also Jonathan’s game) that I’ve played recently, this would be my preference. However this is the opposite point of view to Jonathan.

Dairyman for me would have to compete against Age of War and Zombie Dice. And I think I prefer both of these over Diaryman. Age of War noses it because of that little take that element of being able to steal cards from other players. Zombie Dice plays more players.

We then played my recent aquasition One Deck Dungeon. Sometimes a learning game  from the rule book isn’t the best thing to do.   

Our first playthrough was a bit muddled, and we died. But we were finding the rule book not the easiest thing to navigate to find the information we needed. I have to admit I was feeling a bit deflated by the game. Or more the confusion from the rules. Jonathan was much more positive and found elements he liked.

The second attempt at the dungeon was better. However we still couldn’t work out how the dungeon card worked. For the life of us we couldn’t find the information we needed. Subsequently I have found the information we needed in the rule book and on YouTube. How it was missed I don’t know. 

I was feeling much better about the game after our second play. Much more positive.

But despite our games being like train wrecks there was enough there to like. I’m still not a fan of the rule book. Once I’ve played it correctly I’ll talk about the stuff I like about it.

I have other games that are aimed at the solo player, The 7th Continent, Hostage  Negotiator, and D-Day Dice. I also have others that have solo modes. So how does One Deck Dungeon stack up against them? Not badly for sure. The advantage it has for most people over The 7th Continent and D-Day Dice is that it’s easier to get. D-Day Dice is out of print and not likely to be reprinted. While The 7th Continent if you didn’t back the original Kickstarter then you will have to wait until the next Kickstarter for it to get a copy. Another advantage it has over all three is portability. The box is easily small enough to throw in a bag. Although if you use the original Hostage Negotiator box  (assuming you have both the original and the Crime Wave expansion) you could take the game out with you easily. I think that would be the deciding factor, is this a Costa Gaming session or a game night session or at home. The Costa session, One Deck Dungeon wins, the later I’m going 7th Continent, or one of the others. Unless I want something quick. One Deck Dungeon is quick to setup and play. Much more so than the others. 

It was great catching up with Jonathan and play some games with him. Hopefully life will be kinder to him soon so he can play more games.

Kill them all

Yesterday Jeff celebrated his mid week birthday in great style by hosting a gaming session of Memoir 44 for friends and family.

The plan for the day. Turn up play Memoir 44, eat and drink, have a great time.

We were playing Memoir 44 using the multiplayer Overlord rules and maps. On a basic level Overlord is two teams of players where one player on the team is the commander, while the rest of the team are generals. The commander issues his orders to his generals who then execute those orders on the section of the battlefield they are responsible for. Naturally there is a little more to it than that, but not much.

Our first conflict was between the Japanese and Russians in the battle The Khalkin-Gol Encirclement. This was a battle just before the official start of WWII.

Sides were decided randomly by drawing a playing card. Draw red you were Russian, black Japanese. The cards had decided that the least experienced players of Memoir should be together and play the Russians. While the more experienced players were deemed by the cards to be more suited to gather round the flag of the rising sun.

Which meant that Jeff was commander of the emporers forces, facing off against his son who was commanding the people’s army. On the ground I was commanding the Japanese forces on the right flank, defending a hill, and one victory point on that hill. While Diego was leading the waves of Russian forces trying to take that hill from me.

For the majority of the battle my forces held the hill. By the time Diego took the hill it was too late. It had been costly for Diego. I had scored my share of victory points while defending my positions. Which was helped by the fact the Japanese troops were not allowed to retreat! Yep we got to ignore the first retreat flag rolled. It also helped that Diego was rolling as bad as Jonathan normally does playing Memoir.

Within a turn of Diego taking the hill, our forces had won the game.

It was time to set up the next scenario and eat.

Our second game after a lunch break of BBQ food was the Capture of Tobruk. Sides were once more decided by drawing cards. This time I was the commander of the Axis forces. My generals were Jeff, Diego and Jeff’s son.

To start with I hardly had any command cards that would allow me to activate Diego and my left flank. So I had a slower start on that side than I wanted. Jeff on the right flank, and his son commanding the centre were able to do great work on their fronts. The British called in a spitfire, which couldn’t go unanswered. We called in our own air support in the form of a 109, skilfully piloted by Jeff.

After the third turn the cards were kinder to me and allowed me to bring in Diego more. We were trailing on the victory point front. But I wasn’t worried I knew we would pull it back. Which we did. We were putting pressure on both flanks, and breaking through the middle. The allies were dropping like flies. By the end the allied commanders were demoralised, impending defeat, poor card draw, and our forces over running theirs. Who wouldn’t be? The inevitable happened and we won.

I loved playing the Overlord format. Having the chance to play as both the commander and as a general, great fun. And different experiences. These weren’t short games. About 2 – 3 hours each. In fact the second game might have been longer. This really is a great way to play Memoir with a few friends.

What a great day. Great company, great food, great game. I know lots of greats. But it’s true.

He’s back (the man behind the mask)

Come back later (this evening later, about to go off and play Memoir 44 Overlord) to read this post when I will have added some words about last nights game of Mansions of Madness Second Edition

In the meantime here is the collage of us playing the game as a teaser, and an embedded video of the classic Alice Cooper song I’ve used for this posts title.

Welcome back. I’ve had a great playing Memoir 44, but you can read about that tomorrow. What you really want to know about now is last nights game of Mansions of Madness.

Long story short I liked it. I had a blast playing the game. Especially from how I won the game. More on that in a bit.

Naturally with the game being app driven, and only playable with the app, the likely hood of it being added to my collection is very slim. However the game plays really well with the app. I’d go as far to say it’s a better experience than playing Descent with its app.

We certainly had our talk about moment. Early in the game I found a machete in a pile of gardening junk. At the the time I joked how I was a fan of the Friday the Thirteenth films and Jason. Two or three turns later in the power cut that hit the mansion I found a gun. I was happy with my character and his ability to fend off any monsters. I even had a couple of spells. 

The mission we played was more like a who done it, or mini cluedo. We were not fighting any monsters. It was more investigating, looking for clues/evidence. After our “employer” had been murdered we had to find his killer. Thanks to my “oh she is guilty” and wrongly accusing some-one we angered the ghost of the dead person. Which after he attacked myself and Charlie’s characters left us both insane. Which gave us both secret objectives to do. Mine was to be with one other investigator at the start of my turn with a bladed weapon to win, and everyone else would lose. I thought I’d got it. Next round I go first, I win. But Charlie beat me to it, he ran away from the ghost and me! Luckily with the help of the others Edmund was persuaded to join me in the same space on his turn. Then all attention was on me for my turn. I revealed my card. Surprise I win!!! There was some disbelief around the table about what had just happened. I had won a co-op game!!!

I’d definitely play the game again. 

About to dabble in Commander

Now that I have friends locally to play Magic the Gathering with, and I’ve finally bothered to find out what the Commander format is.

I’ve got my hands on some pre-constructed Commander decks. Specifically the Anthology (which is four “classic” ready to play Commander decks from previous sets), and I’ve pre-ordered the 2017 decks (out today I believe).

I think this will be a great format for my friends and I to play. Especially with these pre-constructed decks. We can decide to meet up to play Magic, whip out these pre-constructed decks, select the ones we want to play with, and then play a multi-player game of Magic together.

But naturally I can’t leave it there. Before even playing I have planned to vary the game! After watching the latest episode of The Commandzone (a podcast about playing MtG Commander) they talk about ways to keep the format fresh. One of them was to use the plane chase cards. It’s possible to get all the 86 cards they did for this format in yet another anthology. However I’m not really interested in the decks that also come with it. So I was happy to see that Magic Madhouse sold just the plane chase cards, and the needed die separately. For half the cost of the anthology I get all 86 plane chase cards in a storage box, then for a couple of extra quid the plane chase die. I can live with that. The nice thing about the plane chase cards is that they can be used with more than just Commander.

I’d love a set of the 2016 Commander decks but one or two of them are going for silly money. So not very likely that this will happen. From a couple of YouTube channels I believe that a couple of the 2016 decks were pretty good. Which usually translates to higher demand than supply and the predictable high prices. I could at the end of the day get them. But I have other stuff that is also calling for my hard earned cash. Ok we know I will cave at some point. The semi-interesting thing about all this is when will I cave?

The Last Jedi Strikes Back

Today Dale and I had a chance to fit in a game or two of our addiction Star Wars: Destiny.

I played with my “The Last Jedi” deck of eLuke/Rey that I threw together that morning.

My “The Last Jedi” deck was up against  Dale’s latest eUnkar/eVeers deck. Dale is trying to get a Veers weapons deck to work. This interation of the deck was working a lot better. Dale was getting the AT-ST out, along with his Tie Fighter (I hate it’s special of removing shields). It definitely was working better. But compared to my deck very slow.

It was Dale’s turn to be on the receiving end of some action cheating. Which he admitted wasn’t much fun.

Our first games Dale was getting the cards and resources he needed. But I was also getting the stuff I wanted. I was able to keep a nice wall of shields up in front of Rey and Luke most games. Which must have been frustrating. But these games played slower than our later games.

Dale did like targetting Rey first, which was I suppose to try and stop any action cheating as quickly as possible. Whilst I targeted Unkar first to put a stop to the influx of resources from his ability and being able to keep high value cards in my hand. 

I had to take a photo of a couple of the dice rolls because they were just disgusting. This first one was from one of our early games.

This next photo was from our last game of the day. The last two or three games were very quick really. Unkar was dead on turn two. Then it was just hitting Veers hard enough before the AT-ST got to the table, or if it was out did any damage.

I had rolled in Rey, who had force speed and a vibroknife attached to her. The force speed had was showing its special, the vibroknife showed 1 melee damage, and Rey’s die was show +2 melee. Veers had taken 5 damage. I needed to find 1 more point of damage to finish him off. 

On my next action I resolved the special. First of my 2 actions, roll in Luke hoping to get that much needed point of damage. As you can see below I exceeded that by a little. I even had enough resources to pay for that 3 melee on Luke’s lightsaber. Good bye Veers.

I liked the improvements Dale did to his deck. But with the emphasis in Empire at War (the next set) on supports and particularly vehicles. I think this deck will only get stronger and harder to play against. It’s going to be interesting to see what has been added to the game to make this sort of deck viable.

Final score 8-1 to “The Last Jedi”.

FuNkar 2.0

Welcome to my latest deck list for Star Wars: Destiny and a new post graphic.

As regular readers of this badly written blog will know I had an initial version of this list, a 1.0 if you will, that I never put online. However a friend Chris Shaner (game designer, and Star Realms legend) very kindly shared a FuNkar list he was playing, and having a lot of success with. When I compared my list with Chris’s there was some common ground. I’d say around 70% or so was the same.

So what you have here is 90-95% of the list that was shared with me. The differences are down to me not having the cards, or in the case of the battlefield, me forgetting to make a note of the one on Chris’s list. So I’ve put an asterisk next to where I differ.

Battlefield: Starship Graveyard *


  • Electroshock (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Flank (1 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 2
  • Friends in Low Places (0 cost,Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • He Doesn’t Like You (0 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • One-Quarter Portion (1 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 1
  • The Best Defense… (1 cost,Villain/Red) x 2


  • DT-29 Heavy Blaster Pistol (2 cost, Villain/Red) x 2 *
  • Flame Thrower (2 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Gaffi Stick (2 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Holdout Blaster (2 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 1 *
  • Rocket Launcher (3 cost,Neutral/Red) x 1
  • Vibroknife (2 cost,Neutral/Gray) x 2
  • Vibroknucklers (3 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Z6 Riot Control Baton (3 cost,Villain/Red) x 1 *


  • Backup Muscle (1 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2
  • Imperial Inspection (0 cost,Villain/Red) x 2
  • Salvage Stand (0 cost,Villain/Yellow) x 2

My thinking behind the deck

Well I think this section of the post is defunct for me this time. It’s Chris’s deck.

Although as always I went with this deck because I had heard that FunKar was a good deck. Which is something that often influences my choice of Heroes/Villains. Some-one will say online somewhere that such and such is a good pairing. I make a mental note, often there isn’t any talk about cards in the deck, which is what I like. It allows me to make a deck around how I think the characters work together, based on the cards I have in my collection at that point in time.

How I Play This Deck

I’m looking for one or two of the two cost weapon upgrades naturally in my starting hand, along with maybe Imperial Inspection or Salvage Stand, plus a die removal card.

Ideally I want those supports out early so that they can start working in conjunction with Unkar and his die. Unkar and these support with their control really do provide a big thorn in the side for the other player. On top of that it’s really all about using FN and his ability to do as much damage as possible. Getting FN up to two, ideally three weapon upgrades and using his ability is key here. As is making sure that there are weapons on him with redeploy before he gets knocked out. Usually when I know FN is going down I load him up with those redeploy weapons and hold off exhausting the other characters. So usually my first action of that turn is exhaust FN, which forces the other player to take out FN. Any damage I can get out before FN goes is a bonus.

If possible I use the First Order Stormtrooper (FOS) to take any damage that would go to FN otherwise. By this I mean when I get to decide how the damage is allocated then it’s the FOS before FN.

How’d the deck do?

I played this against Dale’s eRey/Maz/Snap and out of four games, won 3, lost 1. Taken from a previous post on the match up…

” I was playing FN-2199 much better than the previous time I played this deck. The two supports Imperial Inspection and Salvage Stand made a huge once I started using them. I had singles before and never played them! The new deck plays 2 of each, and having them out and in play made a big difference. Stripping resources, sending upgrades back into hand. The other tweaks had an impact too“.

Where next?

I may not change the list. Considering that I differ on so few cards.

Tiny Epic Afternoon

Yesterday was billed as a Tiny Epic Learning session. With the aim of playing learning games of Tiny Epic Quest (TEQ), and Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG)  with the new expansion Beyond the Black (BtB). However long suffering readers will know I managed to get TEQ to the table a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. So it wasn’t strictly a learning session for that game.

This game of TEQ was the first with the new play mat. But I’ll talk about this at the end of the post. It was also Diego’s first time playing the game. Although he was roughly familiar with the rules having read the ones in his recently received copy.

I did it. I finally did it. I finally won a game of TEQ. Third time lucky and all that.

I had a massive last round scoring ten points, by killing two goblins and jumping a couple of levels on the magic track.

I still haven’t played this with more than two players. It’s lucky that the game plays well with two. 

Our second game of the afternoon was TEG plus BtB. It was almost all in, however we didn’t use either of the micro expansions.

Just like TEQ this was the first time Diego had played the game. The learning bit for me was the BtB side.

I picked up early in the game a pilot that when I harvested resources gave me two instead of one for that pilots ship. Which meant I was rarely running out of energy or culture. My secret mission was a fairly simple one to complete. All I had to do was have no ships in my home galaxy at the end of the game. Which ended up being the case. In fact on Diego’s final go of the game I had enough culture that I was able to follow two of his advance dice to claim another planet, and then follow a move to send my returned ship back out to full fill my secret mission. Both Diego and I went off exploring into the Black. It was just every time Diego did it he drew red cards with negative effects for him but lots of symbols. Whilst I drew green cards that gave me resources, but had less symbols. During the end game scoring Diego got an extra six points in total from having three of the majorities. The fourth we drew and got nothing for. In the end after triggering the end of the game I had won 26 points to 21. It was those follows during Diego’s last go that gave me the victory. Otherwise we would have drawn.

What did I think of the BtB expansion? It was ok. It didn’t wow me. The pilots and their abilities are interesting. But very dependent on which ones come out. I was lucky getting the one I did. The exploring part was ok, it has its push your luck element, which we didn’t really experience. The symbols on the bottom of the pilot and explore cards adds an interesting scoring element that could be enough for some-one to steal the victory. I do like having the more open score track. It makes keeping track of who is where and how close to the game ending you are. I’d most likely play with this expansion in future games. 

I have the play mats for all my Tiny Epic games. You certainly don’t need them. However you should get them. Gamelyn certainly know how to make great play mats for their games. They help with setup, especially the TEG and BtB ones with hints for how many cards go out for the different player counts. Naturally they don’t fit into the boxes. But they aren’t much extra to carry around really. They are of what seems a good quality. Plus they help protect the game while playing.

Thanks Diego for a great afternoons gaming.


It was release day on Netflix for the latest instalment of the MCU, The Defenders.

I’m on holiday, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe, and the Netflix handling of the characters they have been given. Naturally a large chunk of my Friday was given over to binge watching the eight episodes that make up season one of The Defenders.

On Thursday I had already laid the ground for an undisturbed viewing by issuing a decree/warning that if Mum came round and interrupted my watching if the series she would be put “to the pain”.

The Defenders was only eight episodes, easily binged in a day. 


I loved it. Apparently some online are complaining it takes them to long to meet up. But I liked the pacing, and the time spent catching up with where the heroes were in their respective lives, and moving them towards that moment they start working together.

Ok the ending although emotional, lost a bit of the “did he survive?”, and then the reveal, because I knew there was a third season for the character (which has been teased months ago on Netflix).

I liked the interaction between the characters. Jessica Jones and her trolling of the others with her quips is fun. Signourney Weaver is great as the main big bad. 

I look forward to seeing the fallout and new big bads in the next respective series of the characters. Plus I’d like to think we will get a second series of The Defenders.

In the evening Jonathan and I met up for FEG@WL. 

First to the table was my newly arrived Kickstarter backed copy of The 7th Continent

Jonathan and I started our “learning” adventure within the 7th Continent by trying to remove “The Voracious Goddess” curse (as recommended by the rule book). We were adventuring using the “normal” mode! But because I had mixed in all the expansions, it meant we could see devourers (from the Fear the Devourers expansion) and extreme weather conditions  (from the Facing the Elements expansion). The other expansions were curses so unless we selected them to remove we shouldn’t see them.

Jonathan and I both back in our younger days played/read the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books. Jonathan I think is a much bigger fan than me. But we both have fond memories of them. I’m not going to waste time explaining what these books are, if you don’t know, then click this LINK to find out.

At a basic level The 7th Continent is these choose your own adventure books as a tabletop game. Unlike the books which are a solo experience, The 7th Continent plays solo or upto four players. The difficulty of the game can be changed, it’s possible to save a game, you can add in stuff like weather and the devourers to add more variety. Plus playing the same curse will not be exactly the same each time. Oh and players can drift in and out of solving a curse. Which is fantastic for a group playing the game. A member goes on holiday, you remove their character and their skill cards (there is a couple of other things to do as well with their items and skills), when they return you add the character and their skills back in.

I liked this a lot. I loved the social side of working through the curse together, discussing actions and who takes them etc. Jonathan I think sees this as more a game he’ll play solo. Which is something I will do.  But I want that group, shared experience. So will try and get a group of hardy adventurers together.

The expandability of this game is nearly limitless. I think you’d be more likely to get bored with the system first.

In this “learning” game, we got one of the weather effects as an event. We came across a baby devourer. Which we killed, failed a test, and while fighting it’s much much bigger mother, ran out our action deck and drew a curse from the discard pile instantly losing. Before that Jonathan and I narrowly failed to swim across to the next terrain tile. I think there are many many more memorable moments like this ahead. 

You will be banishing cards from the game. So decisions will have an impact later on. It’s almost legacy like, but without the card destruction. Which means you can reset at any time. I like that the best of both worlds. 

The save game ability actually has to be used! The designer recommends game sessions should be between one to two hours. Saving will allow hunted animals to return/restock for example.

I keep wanting to compare this with Portal Games Robinson Crusoe. Which is a game I like. But I think this is a more elegant design that does similar things but without the complication, and I’d say more accessible. 

I’ve only scratched the surface of this game. There is a lot of depth here. Oh production quality is really high. I’d like the minis to have been a little bigger, but they are I guess the right size for the cards/tiles.

I think The 7th Continent could potentially be this years Gloomhaven! Although it doesn’t seem to getting as much buzz online at the moment. However there is enough demand that they are running another Kickstarter in September for those that missed this one that has just concluded. There will also be as part of that new Kickstarter some new expansions. So I’ll pick them up, along with a shed load of card sleeves.

Just get this when the next Kickstarter starts up. You won’t regret it. 

Jonathan taught me his latest game and Kickstarter backed game, Go nuts for Donuts. Which Jonathan likes more than Sushi Go. Jonathan described it to me as like Sushi Go, but without the drafting. Drafting isn’t one of Jonathan’s favourite mechanics. I did troll Jonathan at the end when discussing the game with that the designer like the designer of Barenpark took an existing game and removed the fun! But it’s not too far from the truth I suppose. I do like drafting. However the replacement mechanic of placing a number card to select the card you want isn’t a bad replacement. Drafting light?

Go nuts for Donuts is ok. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. Two players isn’t the best showcase for the game I think. It definitely didn’t excite me like Sushi Go did when I first played it. But then my first plays of Sushi Go were as a four player game. Would I have felt the same if it had been just two players? Most likely not.

I would give this another shot with the higher player count. It’s definitely not been shown in its best light as a two player game. I love Love Letter, but like Go Nuts for Donuts it’s not a great two player game. So maybe after playing at a higher player count I’d be more positive about the game. 

After we finished playing we chewed the fat for a while, righting the wrongs of the gaming world. We then ended the evening the traditional way with “meat”, salad and chilli sauce.

UPDATE: kindly provide by Jonathan