All posts by Darren

A Lazy Day Organising

I forgot to post this screen grab from the Star Realms app the other day. It’s something else I haven’t done in a really long time in the game. Yep it’s been a while since I’ve smacked some-one down with this much damage. 

It’s Summer holiday time so I’m chillin’ until I have to go back into work for a day next week.

So am I spending my time productively? Nah. I’m being a slob.

I did finally open up the last wave of Star Wars Imperial Assault I bought (a few months back) this morning. Aren’t these minis brilliant?


I even popped out, got some organiser trays (need to get more) from the local QD, so I could organise the games minis. I’d used these trays successfully for organising my Zombicide survivors. So I knew these were perfect for the Imperial Assault minis. I also got the smaller ones shown below to put the tokens for the game in.


I also sorted out the tiles by expansion. At some point I need to motivate myself and work out a solution for the cards in the game.

So there you have it, a day in the life of some-one with no life.

Oppression Averted – Carry On

Yesterday the stars aligned that Diego and I were both free and had the time to get Star Wars: Rebellion to the table. 

After scientifically choosing who picked the side they wanted to play by tossing a coin. I was the Empire for our second game, which naturally meant Diego was the Rebel scum.

For our second game we went all in using the full setup. Which meant we were using the action cards with their abilities and not just for recruiting, we had two random action cards from the one use ones. Our starting systems were chosen by selecting the first three rebel systems from the probe deck and also the first five Empire systems. And then allocating our forces as we saw fit between them (although there was a minimum force requirement I think for the Empire on each system). 

Just the way the cards fell I was able to drop my Death Star and some back up units  , like some ties and troopers to split the Rebel starting systems.

Early on I drew project cards that allowed me to build a Super Star Destroyer and blow up a system (Bothawui) with my Death Star. So I did, because I could. That destroying Bothawui would come back and haunt me later on.

Diego did far better than I did as the Rebels. He completed more missions than I did. Luckily in the final couple of rounds some serious rules lawyering stopped him from destroying my Death Star. But it was my earlier “it was fun to do” destruction of Bothawui that gave Diego the final point he needed to win. He had a mission that gave him a point for each destroyed system. 

One more turn would have given me victory with my newly commissioned second Death Star able to move in and blow up the Rebel base. But it was never to be.

It still amazes me that with epic games like Rebellion that the time flies by. You get so engrossed in the game you lose track of the time. It took just over four hours for the Rebels to bring an end to my tyrannical grip on the galaxy. 

A great afternoons gaming. Thanks Diego.

Climbing Magic

After a fun (for me) morning of opening a booster box of Star Wars: Destiny Awakenings and filing them away yesterday, it was the second attempt at the Fenland Gamers Magic the Gathering League.

After the first attempt to start this league I was left feeling a little bruised. So I was really relieved when people started showing up. 

The night before I’d been given the heads up that a couple more players would be coming along. My mental head count said there should be 10 of us playing. I was hoping I hadn’t forgotten anyone. The Amonkhet booster box of 36 packets would cater for 12 players. I had breathing room for 2 unexpected players if need be. 

We would be following the Magic the Gathering League format (rules here) that usually runs over 4 weeks. Ours will differ slightly, instead of weeks it’ll be meet ups. Otherwise we are exactly the same. So everyone buys 3 booster packs (£7) and builds a 30 card deck from them to play with. Then each meet up you are allowed to buy a booster pack to strengthen your deck with. If you loose 3 games in a row you can also buy an additional booster pack to help improve your deck.

What I like about this format is that it’s accessible to new, casual and experienced players. It doesn’t rely on having spent lots on cards (although we do have to use extra lands for the decks). It’s also a format you can join at any time during its running and just start playing and not be at a disadvantage.

We all cracked open our three packs, started organising the cards we’d pulled, and started building our decks. 

I think Justin got the find of all the packs opened. He pulled an Invocation. I should have took a photo (which I only just thought about as I write this post). It’s potentially worth a bit of money. 

My first game of the afternoon was against Charlie. Which I lost. But at least during the game I was able to remove his hand of two cards by forcing him to discard them. Which delayed his plans by getting rid of his two 7/7 flying creatures. 

My next game against Chris saw me do better but still loose. One more lose and I can strengthen my deck with another booster. 

The following 3 games were against the least experienced players in the room. I walked away with victories but they felt hollow. I always feel like the school bully when I win these games. 

My final game of the afternoon was against Michael. His deck was just nasty. He enchanted a flying creature so it had life link. I had not drawn either of my two bats, he’d forced me to discard five (iirc) cards from the top of my deck to my graveyard. Which got rid of the one card I could have played to kill off his flyer. It was an achievement I suppose that Michaels health was 21 when I died and not 35 (which was his final health when he defeated Charlie).

The feedback I’ve been getting was people had a good time. Which I’m chuffed about. I’m also chuffed that at last one of these events was a success.

A big thank you to Fenrock for hosting the event. We really do appreciate it. 

A very big thank you to those that came along and making this a success and so much fun.

The next league day is the 12th August, same time and place. 

Fenland Gamers Heavy Board Game Challenge: Scythe Game 1

It’s been an emotional 24 hours or so. The news of the death of the lead singer of Linkin Park stirred up some things. I wish I could talk more openly about it (I have to consider how it impacts stuff in the real world like work, and family), but because of the nature of his death, my experiences over the years, it had more of an impact than I’d have thought. So a night of gaming was something to look forward to and more than a welcome distraction from those demons. 

Last night instead of the regular FEG@WL we had the first of a series of game sessions that were focusing on a gaming challenge that Chris had came up with.

About a month ago (it may be a little longer, but who really cares when exactly it was? It’s not a court of law) Chris came up with the idea of trying to get some of our more complicated, bigger games to the table more often so we could really explore them. You know get a feel for different tactics etc. Something we rarely got to do. Not because we didn’t want to, but with us owning so many games, and new purchases, we just weren’t getting the chance to. So on our Facebook group Chris ran a survey to first get a list of “big” games members had in their collection they wanted to have considered for the proposed 5×10 Heavy Board Game Challenge. That list was then voted on and the top five chosen. 

Chris chose Scythe from that list as the first one to get to the table. A good selection. Mind you I would say that considering it’s my number 1 game.

We were playing with my copy of the game which apart from the “realistic” resources (which I don’t like the look of) I have everything (oh and I don’t have the Secret Cabal promo). Which means with the Invaders from Afar expansion we have a good variety of factions to choose from. But more importantly metal coins. 

I think this was the first time I’d played a five player game. Definitely the first time playing Polania. Chris was playing Rusviet (which I haven’t won playing with, is still my favourite because of its ability and cool tiger). Jonathan was Albion, Edmund played Togawa Shogunate, and first time visitor and friend of Chris, Chris (hence known as new Chris) played Saxony. 

Naturally Chris got to the factory first and camped there with his hero and a mech. It’s hard not to get there first with his faction. I managed to beat him in combat to gain control of the factory to get a factory card. But lost it on Chris’s next turn as he jumped straight back in and won control back. I think we were the only two to actually go to the factory all game.

There was a little miss understanding over the end game scoring tile. I’d miss read it as buildings adjacent to tunnels when it was in fact buildings on tunnels. Which would have changed where I’d built. So we all agreed to change that tile to adjacent. Which was very kind of everyone to agree to that. I wasn’t the only one who had made that mistake. But still. Plus it made very little impact to the end results.

Your faction power breaks one of the games  fundamental rules. On my favourite Rusviet that’s being able to repeat the same action after having just taken it. For Polania it was being able to chose two options from the encounter cards. Something I only did twice, I really should have been making more use of this ability and grabbing more encounter tokens. 

Was I distracted by having 2 desserts (don’t judge me!) while playing? Nope. They were my consolation prizes. That’s the excuse I’m using and sticking with. 

I could see from the board state I wasn’t going to be in the running for top spot. I wasn’t controlling nearly enough territory, nor had I completed enough objectives ( a sad 2).

I’d been creeping up the popularity track, while the others were stuck in the first points area on it, I was close to getting into the third and maximum points when scoring. But I didn’t have the territory control to make maximum use of that fact.

When new Chris triggered the end of the game I was still a good couple of turns from being in a competitive position for scoring. But as the dust settled, and we counted up our coins Edmund emerged victorious by a point. Well done Edmund on beating Chris by the slenderest of margins. I unsurprisingly came last.

A great game. A blast to play even at 5 player. I wouldn’t want to play with more than that. A great evening, with amazing people. I’m looking forward to our next play.

Adventuring we ago…

Last night saw four adventurers gather to go looking for fame and fortune by recklessly putting their lives in danger. 

I went with type casting and chose the dwarf. Jakub went with the healer, Jason went with the Mage, and Justin chose the thief. 

The role of the Overlord for our adventures was being played by an iPad and the FFG app Descent: Road to Legend. The app is free and comes with a tutorial and a couple of campaigns for free. You can buy two more additional campaigns within the app.

Not having the expansion required for one of the free campaigns, our party of fool hardy adventurers elected to start the Kindred Fire campaign.

I liked how the app told you the tiles that you would be using. But then slowly built the map up through the campaigns first scenario. So it shows you the first section of the map you will be playing on, where the monsters, doors, tokens go. This could be just three or four tiles out of the ones it told you that you will need for the scenario. You kill the monsters and the app then reveals to you the next tiles it wants you to add, plus monsters etc. I love that suspense, the revealing, the build up.

We made some mistakes. When aren’t there mistakes on a first play? We initially misunderstand the placement of monsters on the first part of the map, so only placed one zombie and one spider. That were easily dispatched. We should have been doing a group of the creatures based on the number of adventurers. Doh! We also faught a monster (Ettin I think it’s called) in its level 2 form. It was very hard to defeat. Which I felt made up for the earlier mistake. 

I felt that the app got everyone involved, especially in combat. So players were taking it in turns to roll for the monsters. 

Yes we were slow to start off with, but things picked up as we became more familiar with the flow of things.

I liked how the app spread out its monster activations through out the turn. 

We had one moment where Justin showed how when it’s a choice between your character being thrown around like a rag doll by an Ettin, or your brothers character getting that treatment instead, that blood is not thicker than a player and the bound he has with his character. Nope Justin used his characters ability that allowed them to move one space away when a monster moves adjacent to them. Leaving Jason’s character to get tossed around like a clothes in a tumble dryer.  Justin had found the Me in Team! 

We had to stop before completing the scenario, so it’s great that the app remembers how far we got. We took photos to remind us of our positions on the board, and individually bagged our tokens (wounds etc) with our characters cards. So we can just grab those and know we have everything for our characters, and the correct health when we start up again next session. 

A great evening adventuring. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this scenario. 

My Top Ten Set Collection Games

After a short break I return with my fourth favourite game mechanic. 

I’m really struggling to think of anything to say about this mechanic. I think the most notable omissions from this list are 7 Wonders and Splendor. They just missed out and would have been 11th and 12th. 

So here are my Top 10 Set Collection games…

  1. (Top 100 Position – 9) 7 Wonders Duel
  2. (Top 100 Position – 11) Lords of Waterdeep
  3. (Top 100 Position – 14) Glen More
  4. (Top 100 Position – 17) Five Tribes
  5. (Top 100 Position – 19) Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  6. (Top 100 Position – 30) Imhotep 
  7. (Top 100 Position – 34) Tokaido
  8. (Top 100 Position – 37) Pandemic Iberia
  9. (Top 100 Position – 39) Lost Cities
  10. (Top 100 Position – 42) Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

eHan/eRey 1.0

It’s a couple of weeks after the latest FFG rules update with its clarifications and errata (which hurt my mono hero mill deck with its ammo belt errata – so I will have to update that deck to a version 3). I’ve been building my initial version of a Han/Rey deck. Which as this post would suggest I’m happy enough with to suffer the slings and arrows of constructive feedback from the Destiny community. Which I really do enjoy receiving as it helps me build stronger decks.

Please remember I do not have a complete set of cards and dice. I’m hoping to correct that soon.

Battlefield: Rebel War Room (Yavin IV)

Events

  • “Fair” Trade (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Cheat (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Electroshock (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Friends in Low Places (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Hold On! (0 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Loth-Cat and Mouse (0 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Rejuvenate (0 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 2

Support

  • Improvisation (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Infamous (1 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You (1 cost, Hero/Blue) x 1

Upgrade

  • DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (3 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 1
  • Fast Hands (0 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 2
  • Force Illusion (1 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 2
  • Holdout Blaster (2 cost, Neutral/Gray) x 1
  • Jetpack (2 cost, Neutral/Yellow) x 1
  • Lone Operative (3 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 2
  • Makashi Training (2 cost, Neutral/Blue) x 1
  • Maz’s Goggles (1 cost, Hero/Yellow) x 1
  • Vibroknife (2 cost, Neutral/Gray) x 2

I’m a sucker for graphs! This is the analysis that the app I use gives me for this deck.

    The app I use on my iPhone is SWD Trades. 

    My thinking behind the deck

    This is all about action cheating with Reys ability and ambush, and keeping Han alive with the shields he gets from playing cards with ambush. To a lesser extent I’m getting some “action” cheating also on Han with fast hands.

    Installing an upgrade with ambush on Rey gives two additional actions plus a shield on Han.

    Rey is the big hitter here, and with the vibroknife installed deadly. Add in the Makashi Training upgrade with its plus damage, get the right roll there is potentially seven unblockable damage swinging in. Hopefully all before the other player has a chance to respond.

    How I Play This Deck

    I’m looking for vibroknife/holdout blaster, along with fast hands and some dice removal in my initial hand. This will allow me to start action cheating straight away and put shields on Han through his ability. 

    If I don’t win the battlefield initially my two shields go on Rey usually. Han will be getting shields with my first play anyway. Unless I get a hold on in my initial hand then I put them on Han for the giggles. They will end up on Rey anyway on my first turn. 

    My first play is usually an upgrade on Rey, ideally with ambush so Han gets the shield. If fast hands is in my hand that gets installed on Han, then I roll him in and resolve one of his dice.

    I’m not using Second Chance but Force Illusion is my keep Rey alive a bit longer card.

    I’m also playing upgrades over top of each other so I don’t need as many resources to get them out and I’m getting the action cheating. Although I don’t do this with the vibroknife.

    How’d it do?

    Remember my local meta is Dale. I think I’m 50/50 against his ePoe/eMaz deck. But my wins have been when the starting hand was good for me, and my dice rolling was good. 

    I think I have the edge over his (I want to say) Unkar deck. But I can’t remember which one it was. I must start recording which decks of his I play against.

    Dale tends to target Rey first so I’m trying to do as much damage with Rey before she is killed off in our games. 

    Where next?

    Naturally I need second copies of the blasters. I also think Second Chance might be worth looking at. 

    I might change the battlefield. But I do like the idea of claiming and doing a parting shot with a die I didn’t have the resource for.

    Acrylic tokens for Star Wars Destiny

    So at the weekend a member of the UK Star Wars: Destiny page posted that they had created these acrylic tokens for Star Wars: Destiny. The price was really good (£10 for a set or £18 for two sets). Plus each set came with a bonus traitor trooper token and free UK postage. If you have looked at the likes of the Team Covenant tokens for games it costs so much to get them internationally it’s not worth it.

    I also liked the design because they look just like the cardboard ones that come with the starter sets, even the additional five damage token sticks with the original design. This avoids any confusion and miss use. Some of the tokens I’ve seen on streamed/recorded games are confusing and ugly. In fact if I was playing against them I’d call the judge over and complain. That’s how bad some of the designs are. 

    My order arrived this morning. I went with two sets to make sure I have enough tokens for playing with. I have a few extra given to me as “compensation” for having to wait for my third set (this will be a prize possible ) because the quality of some of the tokens wasn’t up to scratch.

    I love the traitor trooper token. But the tokens are a nice quality. And I’m looking forward to using them in my games against Dale (who also ordered some after I told him about them).

    You can pre-order a set HERE.

    Been a long time since I did this…

    I’ve not done this in Star Realms (the app) in a long long time. So after blurring out my opponents name to save them any embarrassment (they usually kick my butt) I had to share this moment. 

    Which reminds me if you click HERE it will take you to the Star Realms Frontiers expansion. 

    From the Kickstarter page Frontiers has the following features:

    • Great gameplay for 1-4 players.
    • Solitaire and Cooperative mode!
    • Plays on its own, or combined with any other Star Realms set.
    • An all-new 80-card trade deck featuring some new mechanics like the double ally abiltiy which really rewards you for focusing on a single faction!
    • Starting decks for four players.
    • Four sets of new, easy-to-use score cards. 
    • Plenty of Explorer cards.
    • Full color rulebook for two player PVP games, and awesome multiplayer formats like Free-For-All, Hunter, and Hydra!
    • A sturdy, attractive, 4″ x 6″ x 2″ game box

    Plus there are loads of other bits you can get. Just do the $60 all in pledge level and get everything. It’s a no brainer I think for Star Realms fans. Which I think I qualify as with the game at number 4 in my Top 100. My only decision is do I add on a new playmat?