Monthly Archives: October 2018

Jack is nowhere near this beanstalk

Once again I seem to have been sleeping and missed this announcement at the start of October.
Since I sold up and stopped playing Netrunner I’ve missed the game and the Android universe. I really do love the whole cyberpunk, Bladerunner-esq setting. It’s a genre I love. And the art that has been created for the Android universe (read Netrunner) is some of my all time favourite. It’s just stunning, atmospheric, and thematic. Look at the art above for the cover of the book. It screams Bladerunner, and already you have that whole neon, gritty, industrial, futuristic world in your imagination as the setting. Gorgeous. Anyone that’s seen one of the movies or the many ones after that it’s influenced will be instantly at home and have frames of reference they can start using to imagine their adventures in the Android universe.

Which is why when they released the Genesys RPG system and covered a cyberpunk setting within it I was excited. It was obvious from the art used that they were implying an Android type setting. After the release they talked about the world of Android being one of the source books they would be working on.

Now that FFG have gotten their fantasy themed sourcebook out in the world, their attention has turned to Android. You can now pre-order Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk, the sourcebook for the Genesys system covering the Android universe. Although sadly there is no actual release date yet. So I’m hoping that pre-order means soon.

You can read the full post about it from FFG here.

P.S. FFG can we have the Tannhäuser universe next please?

Ninjas meet Assassins

One of my planned Commander deck ideas is a ninja themed deck with Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow from Commander 2018 as it’s Commander.

I think it’s accepted that there are not enough (good) ninjas to make a deck with. Which has been a bit of a brake on the brewing of the deck.

But then I had a moment of clarity when I saw the card Etrata, the Silencer.

Assassins are like ninjas! How about if I make the deck a ninjas and assassins deck?

Thematically it works. Or it does in my little make believe world.

It means I can’t use tribal boosters, or if I do it will be to boost a subset of the creature base. Unless I run Arcane Adaptation to make them all one creature type. The half way solution could be to run a mix of general boosts and tribal ones.

But that’s the updated plan for the ninja deck, or ninjas and assassins deck. What assassins should I put in the deck?

City building

If you had seen Jonathan, Diego and myself get all excited when the young lady behind the counter/bar at The Luxe poured Diego his Guinness, the first words you would have thought of were “Sad gits”. Or words to that effect. You might have put the odd more colourful word in for example.

But it doesn’t get away from the marvellous bit of science going on. I’ve managed to find the official video of what I’ve just found out is called the Guinness Surge.

I’ve had Suburbia in my collection for a couple of years now, and never managed to get it to the table. That is until Saturday afternoon, when at long last I did finally get the game to the table.

I enjoyed the game, despite coming first loser. I think Diego enjoyed the experience of playing to a very convincing victory. However Jonathan had a bit of a mare of a game.

My part of the city had a pretty effective money creating engine going. But there was a period mid game where I was not going up on the population track because my reputation was zero. I did hit a negative value for a turn, but I managed to get a tile to negate it and take me to zero. It slowed me down, and after that there was no real catching Diego up.

However Jonathan fell into a similar trap in the later third of the game but with income that meant he found it very hard to do anything apart from cover the money he would lose at the end of each round. It was almost a negative loop feeding into itself. It really did ruin the experience of the game for him. There was also some misunderstanding on how tiles worked, and one or two tiles and their wording.

It was a learning game. Mistakes were bound to be made. It’s a shame that the experience wasn’t pleasurable for John.

I liked the game. It’s definitely a game I’d like to get to the table again.

After building our city districts we wound down with a game or two of Perudo. We were using the 30th Anniversary Liars Dice instead of my Perudo set. But the rules we used we a mish mash of the 2 games. We used the bidding of Liars Dice, and thus the playmat that comes with the 30th Anniversary Edition to track the bids. But the rules from Perudo for everything else.

I love the components, especially the playmat of the Anniversary edition. But it is so let down by the awful, cheap, box it comes in. Why make all the fuss about it being this 30th Anniversary Edition and then cheap out on the box it comes in?

If you are remotely interested in the outcome of the games you can look on bgg here.

Our final game was a few plays of No Thanks! I don’t think Gavin realised the monster he unleashed when he introduced the game to us at the last Monthly meetup. We’ve now introduced it to two more people. I think so we don’t burn out on the game, we will have to switch back to say Red7 or some other quick, light filler game we can end the evening with. Although Perudo has also filled that spot on occasion.

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but a big big thank you to The Luxe for once again allowing us to use their premises for our gaming. And yet again another fantastic afternoon gaming with 2 of the best people to game with.

Asmodee UK Website Fail

It’s been like this for most of today. It was like it for a large part of yesterday.

You would have thought with Essen on at the moment, you’d want your site up and running. Friday is meant to be the day Asmodee UK share with the world, well UK the new releases for the week ahead. It’s definitely where a lot of gamers go to see what they will be spending money on.

Plus with the worlds largest board gaming expo currently in progress you’d want your site sharing tweets, news etc to your customer base that are unable to get there.

I’m not expecting the situation to improve before Monday. Maybe they might have a decision maker who can authorise money to be spent back by then.

Until then I can’t see their IT bods able to do anything about this.

Embarrassed much?

Tides of bees!

The fortnightly gaming meetup started off differently for Jonathan and myself this time. We had been swapping messages discussing games and numbers for the evening. Which turned to whether we would be going for a kebab afterwards. I hadn’t had a kebab in a long time, and fancied having one again.

But Jonathan had been craving a pint and food at Spoons for most of the day. I pointed out that by the time we’d finished gaming he’d be competing for table space with people that would be jacked up alcohol, or just about starting on their night of alcoholic debauchery. Not the greatest atmosphere for enjoying a quiet pint and food.

So I suggested I was up for the Spoons thing, how about eating before we started gaming? 15 minutes later we were sitting at a table, food ordered, drinks in front of us and chatting away about life, the universe and gaming.

I did think my food was a little on the cold side, maybe not as hot as it could have been. Possibly a timing issue bringing my plate of food together. I think a couple of items had been waiting for the wings to be ready. Ok I admit it, I do like the wings that Spoons do. I could easily eat just a plate of them.

At The Luxe we got setup ready for our evenings gaming. We just needed to wait for the official start time, and those to turn up that said they were coming. While we waited Jonathan showed me the latest prototype of his Sherlock Holmes reskin (trolling him there) of The Streets of Commonville. I forget what he calls it. But it has those muted colours that suggest Victorian Britain and the setting of the Holmes stories. It’s nice theming. We discussed mechanics, particularly the dice rolling. I suggested he looks at games like Age of War, Bang the Dice Game and Elder Sign for their approach, and even Run,Fight or Die!. But I can see why he’s gone for a more Pandemic the Cure approach. It is his favourite Pandemic I believe.

After the brainstorming I taught John the quick drafting card game Tides of Time.

I really thought I’d played this game before with Jonathan, but I hadn’t. Drafting isn’t one of Jonathan’s favourite mechanics. But this is a quick game, with a slight twist to the drafting. The game is literally over before Jonathan realises he doesn’t like drafting!

For me this was a welcome return of the game to the table. Last time I had played this was before I’d started tracking my game plays. It is a very nice 2 player game. Like many games deserves more table time. But like so many games it’s competing for that limited time. Adding to the difficulty of getting to the table is the fact it’s a 2 player game, and those gaming opportunities are even rarer.

Although as I write this and think of my 2 player games that don’t get nearly as much love as they deserve, I’m rather happy with the fact I think I have a pretty strong 2 player game collection.

By the time we’d finished playing, no one else had turned up. We’d seen a message from one person letting us know they were ill. But there was no sign of the father and son we were expecting. I know life throws things in the way, plans change. But it is annoying when this happens. Part of our earlier discussion was about what games to bring along that were for the appropriate player counts, and audience. This information really does influence what we take with us for people to play. If we’d known it was just going to be Jonathan and myself we would have bought different games.

Our next game was a 2 player game of Waggle Dance. A game new to both of us, and only recently added to Jonathan’s collection. This is basically a gateway worker/dice placement game.

The dice are cute with a bee representing the number 1. On the whole the components are reasonable quality. Although both Jonathan and I think a playmat would be nice for the game.

Waggle Dance plays nice at 2 players, it uses 12 dice from one of the unused colours to occupy 3 random spots on each of the actions that can be selected.

The flow of the game is nice, as is resolving the various actions in the same order each turn during the night phase. It means you have to think about that order so that you have the resources in place to be able to take a later action in the same turn.

The Queen bee cards are the only way to mitigate dice rolls. The only way to get the cards is by putting a die on one of the spots for the action that gets a card. The cards do more than mitigate die rolls. They allow you to get honeycomb tiles, eggs, resolve a honeycomb tile with differing dice, etc.

The cards are pretty important. Jonathan took an early lead on having 2 more dice in his pool, and therefore able to do more on a turn. But I got cards from turn 1. I think it started off with a single die allocated. But after getting a free tile with it, I was allocating 2 dice each turn. The abilities I was drawing negated the advantage of the extra dice, or gave me the advantage. Jonathan started getting cards pretty late in the game, and too late.

The game uses that action selection based on the values of the dice you roll mechanic. Similar to Marco Polo (but not quite) and Covert. I quite like this mechanic, and because it’s not used a lot (well in the majority of games I own and play) it’s refreshing.

I won our game. But it could have gone in Jonathan’s favour. The cards gave me the edge, along with a couple of times Jonathan messed up his turn.

During our game Justin popped in to say hi, so there was a short intermission while we chatted and I hooked his son on Ice Blast drinks. It was great catching up with Justin.

Despite the low turn out this time. We still had a great evening gaming. And once more a big thank you to The Luxe for being our amazing hosts.

Goblins Tribal Commander Deck

Wow lucky sufferers, back to back Commander decks. This one and yesterday’s deck Trostani were played yesterday (ok as a 1 v 1 Commander games). Not a great test for them, but at least I could see if they were able to their thing.

I’ll put my usual disclaimer here about my decks. I’m not claiming these are the best decks in the world, they certainly are not top competitive decks. They are hopefully fun affordable (subjective I know) decks. I don’t try and keep to a target price point. I try and use as many cards in my collection as possible to keep my costs down. I proxy in expensive cards and produce them when I play. It helps keep costs down. I can’t afford multiple copies of expensive cards to put in decks. Commander is a casual format about having fun. And that is the ethos I hope I have when brewing the decks.”

So with that copy and paste disclaimer out of the way, for your reading delight I present…

I kind of fell into this deck. There have been one or two nice new goblin cards in recent sets, along with a reprint or two. Plus they were in one of the last but one duel decks to be released. So I had a good base to start building this deck from. Plus the cards I didn’t have (mainly some goblin lords needed to pump up the goblins) were rather cheap.

Because I’m staying mono red I’m able to reuse a few of the cards from my Etali mono red Commander deck. So for me I’m getting a lot of value from that deck.

For this deck I decided to go with Squee, the Immortal as my Commander. Although I may try it with different Commanders to see if it makes a difference. But I like that although Squee doesn’t combo or do anything for other goblins, he is impossible to get rid of. Plus he has no Commander tax, so he can be used for cards that require a goblin/creature to be sacrificed over and over again.

This is a tribal deck, so naturally we have the odd tribal card in the deck to pump up our goblins on top of any anthem effects we get from our goblin lords. Of which there are a few.

There are a handful of cards that also generate goblin tokens. This deck doesn’t specifically aim to go wide. But it doesn’t hurt to have the option to increase the number of goblins on the battlefield.

There is a removal suite for this deck, both targeted and mass removal. There are cards that improve our card draw in the deck, but this is a weakness of red, and the 3 or 4 present hopefully help. I have one card in the deck that acts as graveyard hate, I may tweak that with adding one more. But I’m happy with the 3 or 4 cards in their to get round hexproof targets.

So the overall plan is to beef up the goblins, and swing in for the win. I’m hoping at a minimum the goblins will be getting a +2/+2 boost. Which would help them avoid one or two of my own cards aimed at keeping the board clear of spammy tokens.

Lets look at the graphics produced by the Decked app for this deck.

Pretty chuffed the AMC just scrapes in under 3. I think this is a pretty cheap deck, although for some reason it wasn’t able to price some cards. So it’s a little more costly than the price shown.

Ok the bit you’re interested in the actual cards that make up the deck.


1 Fanatical Firebrand
1 Goblin Banneret
1 Goblin Glory Chaser
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Dark-Dweller Oracle
1 Ember Hauler
1 Goblin Instigator
1 Goblin Trailblazer
1 Goblin Wardriver
1 Metallic Mimic
1 Warren Instigator
1 Adaptive Automaton
1 Boggart Brute
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Goblin Chainwhirler
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Goblin King
1 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Guttersnipe
1 Squee, the Immortal
1 Treasure Nabber
1 Tuktuk the Explorer
1 Zo-Zu the Punisher
1 Battle-Rattle Shaman
1 Beetleback Chief
1 Goblin Ringleader
1 Goblin Trashmaster
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
1 Volley Veteran
1 Battle Squadron
1 Siege-Gang Commander


1 Blazing Volley
1 By Force
1 Fall of the Titans
1 Glaring Spotlight
1 Goblin Grenade
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Mutiny
1 Sol Ring
1 Sudden Demise
1 Traveler’s Amulet
1 Abrade
1 Crook of Condemnation
1 Dragon Fodder
1 Krenko’s Command
1 Lightning Strike
1 Pyroclasm
1 Chaos Warp
1 Herald’s Horn
1 Hordeling Outburst
1 Risk Factor
1 Aether Flash
1 Goblin Barrage
1 Goblin Charbelcher
1 Melt Terrain
1 Nevinyrral’s Disk
1 Radiating Lightning
1 Vance’s Blasting Cannons
1 Cleaver Riot
1 Fiery Intervention
1 Hour of Devastation
1 Vanquisher’s Banner
1 Caged Sun
1 Obelisk of Urd
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Star of Extinction


1 Arcane Lighthouse
1 Detection Tower
1 Forgotten Cave
1 Madblind Mountain
24 Mountain
1 Ramunap Ruins
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Shivan Gorge
1 Sunscorched Desert
1 Temple of the False God

Trostani Token Spam Commander Deck

I’ll put my usual disclaimer here about my decks. I’m not claiming these are the best decks in the world, they certainly are not top competitive decks. They are hopefully fun affordable (subjective I know) decks. I don’t try and keep to a target price point. I try and use as many cards in my collection as possible to keep my costs down. I proxy in expensive cards and produce them when I play. It helps keep costs down. I can’t afford multiple copies of expensive cards to put in decks. Commander is a casual format about having fun. And that is the ethos I hope I have when brewing the decks.”

Well here it is my Trostani – Selesnya (green/white) token spam deck, that was inspired by the card Divine Visitation. But before we go and look at the boring stuff, let’s just take a moment to take in the absolutely stunning art for the Commander.

I’ve managed to find just the art on the internet and here it is, Chase Stone’s incredible card art of Trostani Discordant.

The core tactic of this deck is to create lots of tokens, which we can hopefully can do with the likes of Anointed Procession, Doubling Season, Parallel Lives and Primal Vigor. Which if we are lucky can then turn into 4/4 Angel tokens when they trigger Divine Visitation.

There are blink/flicker effect cards in the deck to allow me to trigger that etb of Trostani, or any other creature I have with an etb I can miss use! If I can get Panharmonicon out and do all this, that etb triggers twice.

So I’d say this deck apart from being all about spamming out tokens, is a little combo like too. With the combo like behaviour being all around the generation of tokens.

Naturally there are also cards for generating tokens. The nice thing is there are a lot of mana abilities that can be used to generate tokens on creatures and lands.

I don’t have too many anthem effects, so that could be considered a weakness. So if we don’t have our inspiration for this deck out, the tokens generated at best will only get a +1/+1 from our Commander. I think iirc The Immortal Sun and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite are my only other anthems. So they are potentially a bit vulnerable to the likes of a Goblin Chainwhirler or similar effect.

There is also a feeble attempt at tutoring with a couple of cards, along with card draw. Although a few of the non basic lands are cycle lands.

Finally there is plan B. Not much of a plan B. But still it’s a plan. And that is Approach of the Second Sun.

Let’s look at the graphics from the decked app.

I’m happy with the AMC, 4 or under is my target. So nicely under. But bloody hell when did some of these cards get so expensive? I will say this every time we look at that b.s. number that is apparently generated by prices on Card Kingdom. How are people meant to play this game? I for sure on the one or two cards I bought in specially for this deck did not pay anywhere near the prices listed above.

Here is the deck list…


1 Haazda Marshal
1 Rhys the Redeemed
1 Conclave Guildmage
1 Emmara, Soul of the Accord
1 Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy
1 District Guide
1 Eldrazi Displacer
1 Flickerwisp
1 Ledev Champion
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Rhonas the Indomitable
1 Baird, Steward of Argive
1 Beast Whisperer
1 Conclave Cavalier
1 Felidar Guardian
1 Leonin Warleader
1 Sumala Woodshaper
1 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
1 Vizier of the Menagerie
1 Seedborn Muse
1 Trostani Discordant
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Silent Sentinel
1 Trostani’s Summoner


1 Authority of the Consuls
1 Cloudshift
1 Demotion
1 Flower // Flourish
1 Land Tax
1 Legion’s Landing
1 Sol Ring
1 Assure // Assemble
1 Dawn of Hope
1 Dowsing Dagger
1 Martial Coup
1 Momentary Blink
1 Quest for Renewal
1 Saproling Migration
1 Acrobatic Maneuver
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 History of Benalia
1 Idyllic Tutor
1 March of the Multitudes
1 Selesnya Locket
1 Spear of Heliod
1 Sprouting Renewal
1 Teferi’s Protection
1 Anointed Procession
1 Circuitous Route
1 Crush Contraband
1 Panharmonicon
1 Parallel Lives
1 Second Harvest
1 Settle the Wreckage
1 Wrath of God
1 Conjurer’s Closet
1 Divine Visitation
1 Doubling Season
1 Fumigate
1 Primal Vigor
1 Vivien Reid
1 Bounty of Might
1 Hour of Revelation
1 Planar Bridge
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Approach of the Second Sun


1 Blossoming Sands
1 Bountiful Promenade
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Desert of the True
1 Drifting Meadow
1 Field of Ruin
7 Forest
1 Foundry of the Consuls
1 Krosan Verge
8 Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Selesnya Guildgate (a)
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Shefet Dunes
1 Survivors’ Encampment
1 Temple Garden
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tranquil Expanse
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Warped Landscape

A bad online store experience

A few weeks ago I ordered some miniatures from an online web store who are also an actual real life store as well I believe.

One of the miniatures was a pre-order. But after a long wait and a single email from them telling me they were going to ask for an update from their distributor. Nothing. Any communication otherwise about the order was instigated by me.

Finally I got fed up waiting and not hearing anything from them, I emailed them at the start of the week. Turned out that they were out of stock of most of my order and had no idea about when the pre-order would arrive.

I can’t believe they sold stock they had already sold. Maybe they thought they would get more in before they had to complete my order. But this really is poor. The stock for my order should have been put to one side, not sold.

Anyway it was agreed they would send what was left of my order to me and refund the rest. The store also gave me some store credit to compensate me for the situation of the long wait, and stock blunder.

I have to admit, I wasn’t happy. But the store credit was a nice touch, which might have tempted me back to the store at a future date. But…

Yesterday the order turned up having been given next day delivery (nice touch). However…

As you can see one of the bugbears is broken inside the pack. How did this get past their quality control?

Yes I know it can be fixed with a little glue. But that’s not the point. This is a damaged product they have charged me full price for.

I’ve emailed them this morning about this. I wasn’t going to write anything about it on here. But now as you can see I’ve changed my mind. This whole experience has made me not to want to spend money with them again. What good is store credit if you have no intention of using it? Yes store credit costs them, but they hope it gets you back and spending more with them than they actually have given you. To me now it seems like a hollow gesture. There is no way I will use them again. I certainly won’t recommend the store to anyone. This whole experience has totally soured my opinion of the store.

I await to see what they have to say about the bugbear. Who knows I may name and shame.

Missed the bus on this one

I’m late to the party on this following bit of news, I’m kicking myself on how I missed it, but better late than never.

Yesterday on one of the many many boardgaming Facebook groups there was a post about selling a copy of Love Letter: Batman for £25. Like many others on the discussion that followed I was shocked that the game was going for this price. But apparently that was on the cheap side.

Why was this my favourite version of the Love Letter games so expensive to buy now? The obvious answer was that it was out of print, and also the licence hadn’t been renewed. I thought that was a little short sighted.

I then thought wow I wonder what Love Letter The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (my close second favourite Love Letter) is going for then? Because if they didn’t renew the licence for Batman, then I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t do The Hobbit. And I was right, some-one responded saying the game was going for £40 on eBay when they checked!


So I did some quick digging around with Google, and the bit of news I missed earlier in the year was that as of 1st May 2018, the Asmodee Borg collective took over the Love Letter game from AEG, and stamped it with the Z-Man brand of the Asmodee Borg collective. The only versions that transferred over were the “classic”, Premium, Lovecraft and Wedding editions. The other licensed versions gone.

Hence the situation that we are now seeing ourselves in with the prices of the Hobbit and Batman editions etc shooting up.

I’m sure Z-Man/Asmodee have their plans for the game. If we are lucky they will include the English version of the Russian Star Wars printing. But I would love to see them get the licences back for the likes of Batman so that people can enjoy the game at a reasonable price.

I’m off to sleeve my copies of The Hobbit and Archer (Batman is already sleeved). Need to protect that investment!

In the nick of time

Yesterday we restarted our Gloomhaven campaign. It had been so long we couldn’t rightly recall exactly where we had left things. So we chose the Vibrant Grotto mission which roughly fits in where things were left, I think.

Basically we had to get some biteroot to allow a location spell to be cast so we could locate Jekserah (who I think is the merchant we foiled the plans of and is now on the run if my memory does not play tricks on me).

As luck would have it, or not, the grotto we needed to get the biteroot from had one or two monsters in our way. Right away we were facing 3 cave bears and 2 forest imps.

We spent way too much time fighting these 5 foes. We had to loot 5 chests to achieve our goal for the mission. At the rate we had killed these initial creatures we would not be successful. So we decided to split up and make a dash for each of the remaining chests. The split went one small character, like my spellweaver with one of the big hitter brute/tank characters.

For this mission my secret goal was to kill at least one “leader” monster. Which I did manage to do in our dash for one of the final 2 chests.

But we nearly failed. Myself and one of the brute characters had a single turn left before we became exhausted and would fail the mission. Luckily we were able to clear a path through to the 2 remaining chests and loot them in the nick of time. It was scarily close.

Naturally after such a long gap between plays we were a little rusty on the rules. Which helped because we had a new member to the team, playing a new character.

Gloomhaven is still a nice dungeon crawler. It was nice to play a scenario that was not all about trading blows and slogging it out, but moving fast to achieve the goal. And also luck that we realised this about at the right point in the game. Any later and we would have failed big time.

I must remember to take my iPad next time. It’s handy having a copy of the rules and scenarios book to look at. Plus the scenarios pdf hides parts of the map and conclusions, so I can check things without ruining the surprises.

Definitely a fun afternoons gaming.

I’m now feeling inclined to paint the mini for my character. So I started to look at what colours are needed. As you can see below I did find the original artwork from the game to use as a reference.

One or two of the figures I saw painted on line I wasn’t too impressed with the finished results or colours used. I’m way way off being perfect, so maybe I was being too judgemental. However I have some shades of blue on their way. But now as I’m typing this and looking at the art, maybe I should be looking at purple shades. I have a leather brown coming. This is going to be a hard model to paint. Luckily I have 2, and I know how to clean the paint off so I can start again. This one is going to be a steep learning curve. At least the primer coat was easy.