All posts by Darren

Modiphius Suck It

Like buses it seems Fallout games are coming along in pairs. 

Today FFG announced they will be releasing in the last quarter of 2017 a 1 – 4 player game based on the popular video game franchise Fallout.

Wait a game I won’t have to spend hours or even days assembling, one that I can buy and play straight away? Wow that’s ground breaking.

Modiphius can as the once WWE superstars Degeneration X said “Suck it!”

This is how you handle a popular IP that will appeal to non-gamers. This audience isn’t interested in spending hours cutting and gluing. They want to buy and play. Oh one or two might enjoy it but not the majority who this would appeal to. Let’s face it you don’t splash money out to buy an IP like this to appeal to your core market. You are trying to appeal to that wider audience that wouldn’t normally buy your stuff. How else are you going to make your money back on that expensive IP licence?

Let’s face it we have had a few popular IP licensed in recent years for miniature skirmish like games. Predator and Aliens, Terminator, and Walking Dead naming a few. How many do you see being played at your local FLGS or game club?

Look I can rant about this all night. At the end of the day I’ll vote like many others with my wallet. Which means my vote will be going to FFG, as I imagine the great majority of people’s votes. You can be certain of the fact the FFG game will outsell the Modiphius one by a big margin.

You can read the FFG announcement HERE

Thinking out aloud about tomorrow’s decks!

Tomorrow Dale and I do battle once again over this holiday period with Star Wars: Destiny.

I’ve tweaked my FunKar deck to be as close as I can to a deck list given to me by a friend, game designer and master player, Chris Shaner. I also need to tweak my emokids but I don’t have the cards yet for that.

I want to build something with the newly arrived Luke. My first instinct is eLuke/Rey. This is mono blue. 

Naturally Luke’s Light Saber and Rey’s Staff will be included. 

I’m also thinking maybe I could try him with one of the following. Which would give me access to yellow cards. 

Although Maz is another strong option. 

I can see myself also throwing together a quick and cheerful Jango/FN deck.

I’d like to see if this would be fun to play.

I’m half expecting to face Dale’s version of Vader/Raider. But then again it could be emokids too. Dale has just got both versions of Vader. So it’s not unreasonable to expect to see these decks, or at least one of them.

I think the only thing I can guarantee tomorrow is it will be fun.

Are you a toaster?

Yesterday Tiny Epic Quest snuck in and joined the Tiny Epic Galaxy Beyond The Black playmat in my “how much do the postal gods like me? challenge”. 

Some more targeted buys for Star Wars: Destiny also arrived. Which means I now have a playset of all the commons and uncommons for the Awakenings wave. I also have Luke now, so an eLuke/eRey build  will be something I start playing with pretty soon. 

In the afternoon a game I’ve wanted to get to the table for a longtime finally got to the table. As the Rock would probably say “Finally! Battlestar Galactica the boardgame has hit the table!” 

A day or two earlier Nath had said “there’s a boardgame?” when I told him of Saturdays plan. “Oh yes” was my reply.

Jeff, Nath, myself, Diego, and Monia boarded the Galactica to lead the rememants of mankind to their salvation from the cylon onslaught. But there was a hitch some of us were toasters. Whose soul intention was to stop us escaping and see the end of humanity.

There wasn’t many accusations flying around, or people being thrown into the brig. I think it happened just the once from a card effect near the end to Monia. However many a jokey comment was made through out the game, such as “well a cylon would say that” or “just what a cylon would say”.

Once you get used to the turn structure, which happens very quickly, the game hits a flow.

But why was that person checking something in the rule book? Was that the cylon pages? Why isn’t the President playing more quorum cards? Everything a player does comes under scrutiny. Oh the suspicion. 

I did find it frustrating at times having to wait for my turn sometimes. As Starbuck I was deadly in space piloting a viper. Especially with the aid of some of the pilot cards, which gave me four attacks at a time. Add that to the characters ability of getting an additional action if they are flying a viper at the start of my turn. So I was the ideal one to be out in space shooting up toasters. But timing just made it hard on a couple of occasions for me to do anything, because I had a full round of turns to wait out before I could jump into action.

All the characters felt different. From drawing different skills cards, different once a game ability, to different abilities.

Sadly with the finish line so close, the hidden toasters were triumphant.

It turns out Diego was married to a toaster, and Jeff proved there was no honour amongst kitchen appliances, when he admitted after revealing himself that he had been trying to deflect the accusations/suspicion onto Monia, who had towards the end been given the nickname by me of “Mrs Toaster”.

Nath and I had a great time playing the game. As did the others, well they said they had. Now the only problem is arranging getting the game back to the table.

Lording it up

The nice thing about The Luxe cinema (apart from my spot, and the great customer service) is that if you have to sit in the front row as Nath and I had to yesterday (the front row seats were the only ones left when we booked our tickets), is the screen is not so large it’s overwhelming to watch the movie.

We had gone to see Mr Nolan’s latest cinematic offering Dunkirk. The nice thing about his movies is that he treats you like an intelligent person and doesn’t hire Sir Anthony ‘needs the money because he’s fallen on hard times so will do any old tripe’ Hopkins to do plot exposition.

Dunkirk for me is one of those movies that goes up against the classic ensemble war movies like The Longest Day or A Bridge Too Far. These types of movies don’t have any character back story, there is no real character development, you are getting snippets of a story from several points of view.

How does it compare with the classics? Very well I think. Obviously movie making techniques have advanced over the decades, from visual effects to story structure. The use of a modern structure works, especially seeing the same event from several points of view. 

Nath and I both enjoyed the movie.

Nath was going to join us for the weekly gaming session. However the theme (despite being virtually none existent) of Lords of Waterdeep didn’t really appeal to him. So Nath stayed at home to play Uncharted 2 on the PS3. 

Which meant Jeff, Chris and I were left to compete to be the Lord of Waterdeep. We were playing with the base game plus the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion. It was all in on the expansion front because we were using both the Undermountain expansion and the Skullport expansion with its corruption mechanic, that make up the complete expansion. 

I really should have picked the lord that gave me end points for buildings owned. Instead I went for the one that allowed me to chose the quest type I wanted to score, and then get 6 points for each completed quest. But at the time it was the right decision.

It’s just a shame I had lots of buildings under my control by the end of the game. It’s not something I do much of while playing Waterdeep. But a combo of two quests got me all the buildings not built for free, plus I got extra victory points for each building because of a previously completed quest. That was a massive round for me. 

Jeff was just collecting corruption as if it was going out of fashion. Chris had a system going that allowed him to discard corruption from his tavern.

After final scoring Chris won by a nose, beating Jeff into second place. While I was not far behind in last place.

We had a blast playing Lords of Waterdeep with the expansion. In fact Jeff wasn’t a fan of just the base game, but with the expansion he quite liked it. That’s a massive win. 

Long overdue father son gaming session

Yesterday Nath and I got to play some games!

We started off with a favourite of ours 7 Wonders Duel. Our game went down to the wire or better described as the last card of the third age. The last card was a military card, one that pushed Nath to a military victory. If it had gone to points I’d have won. But sadly the last card of the game was for Nath. 

I then introduced Nath to the worker placement mechanic with Mint Works.

If I told you we ended up playing three games, that should tell you what Nath thought of the game. 

This is a really great, light introduction for “gamer lite” players to the worker placement mechanic. I also find it’s fun for “gamers” also as a quick scratch the itch filler game.

I followed up the success of Mint Works with Caverna: Cave vs Cave. Don’t think Nath enjoyed it much. Or that’s the impression I got from the fact our game got interrupted by tea, and Nath wasn’t bothered about finishing the game after we had finished eating.

Our after tea gaming was playing Star Realms. You’d think that being in the same room together we’d be playing the physical game. No we were using the app. Nath had finally re-installed the app on his phone. Which I was chuffed with because it means we can continue playing after he leaves. But we were sat there, next to each other, phones out, taking our turns. 

Although I talk about Star Wars: Destiny to Nath. I’m deliberately not letting him play it. I don’t won’t to hook Nath on the game. I can’t pass on my addiction and money pit to him. He’s a poor student at uni for starters.

Today we are seeing Dunkirk in the afternoon and then I’m taking to his first FEG@WL. Dunkirk should get us in the right frame of mind for the evenings gaming!

Midweek waffle 

Kinda excited Nath is coming to stay for a couple of days.

How kind have the postal gods been to me so far? 

Well the playmat for the Tiny Epic Galaxies expansion, Beyond the Black arrived yesterday. So one down, two to go. 

A new Amonkhet booster box arrived this morning along with some card sleeves, some more deck boxes, and a couple of life countdown dice, ready for the next league day. Oh almost forgot I also got a two player playmat to use as well. But I can use that at work also.

Yesterday I took delivery of some more Zombicide figures. Which means I now have 72 survivors for the game plus the companion dogs. It also means if I wanted to be a completionist I’m 45 survivors short (that’s counting ultimate versions as separate characters to get). More importantly now I have Dave the Geek and Will the Game Designer (thanks Scott) I can run a Big Bang Theory themed scenario using all the characters from the show.

Right I’m off to file those survivors away.

Verses: Archer: Once You Go Blackmail vs Love Letter

This was a real easy match up for me. I like the original Love Letter. But if you followed the count down of my Top 100 games you will have noticed that Love Letter did not break into the list. It actually sits ranked at 119th. Whilst Archer (I’ll call it that for brevity) came in 63rd. That’s a big gap. Aren’t they basically the same game? To some extent yes they are. But it is the differences that make all of the difference!

Let’s start with the components. In the original Love Letter you are keeping score with red cubes. Whilst in Archer those components are rather cool looking dolphin tokens.

I actually prefer the artwork from the Archer cartoon to the original. But that’s personal taste.

But those are cosmetic differences. Each version of Love Letter usual has a tweak to the game play in some way (unless it’s the Adventure Time one). And it’s these differences that I really like. 

In Archer the card that is normally put to one side is now part of the game play (called the Hidden Identity) and some of the card actions interact with that card. One of them allows you to try guessing the Hidden Identity, if you do, you win the round. 

I love that change. I feel they took the idea from Lost Legacy and removed the bit from the end of Lost Legacy that Jonathan doesn’t like, the investigation round (I think I covered that in more detail when we played Lost Legacy yonks ago).

So it’s the combination of art, components and tweak to game play that made this such an easy one, even no brainer in choosing Archer over the original. 

BTN July 17

School’s out forever, School’s out for summer

The start of July is a busy time. We’ve just said good bye to the students, work is being externally moderated (that’s a nervous time for sure), staff development is taking place, some planning is going on for the new academic year. Yet while all that is going on we can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is our holiday.

Despite a busy two weeks Dale and I still managed to squeeze in 39 games of Star Wars: Destiny for the month. Or team building as we like to call it. Two afternoons of our holiday have helped with this.

But I’m jumping the gun, you haven’t seen the numbers for the month. So here they are…

I played some big games this month. And I’m loving that. Not only that but a couple of them got to the table more than once. The MtG league started, it was well attended and everyone had a great time. A date was also set for the next league day (see below).

So let’s look at the three different types of average for my data.

I’ve managed to beat the averages on number of plays. But the games played failed to beat two of the measures.

The final section as usual presents the data graphically so we can try and see trends.

My Game of the Month…

I liked Descent, but I think there can only be one winner this month.  This months game of the month is …

Xia is soooo epic. I don’t get tired of describing it as Elite the board game. I can’t wait to introduce Nath to this game. I think he will like it. Just play this sandbox game, you will be impressed by the quality of the components, the game play. It’s just amazing.

Worst Game of the Month…

I can gladly declare that there is no new inductee to the Nantucket Wing of Shame or Barenpark cellar of over hyped games for this month.

Hopefully hitting the table in August…

All new games this month. You will notice I have put a few of kickstarters on the list that have either just arrived or I am expecting to arrive during August.

  • The weekly Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion (or FEG@WL as I call it)
  • Every second Wednesday of the month we have our monthly meet up. This month that second Wednesday is on the 9th.

Please note that the BSG game below is now at the maximum player count.

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. Hope to see you there

Praying to the postal gods 

If the postal gods are smiling on me I have the following hopefully arriving during the next week.

I have two items that are in the postal system between the US and the UK. The first is the playmat to go with the recently arrived but unplayed kickstarted expansion for Tiny Epic Galaxies, Beyond the Black. With the two playmats in use this game will be anything but tiny.

Also finding it’s way over the pond is the latest in the Tiny Epic series, and hot off kickstarter, Tiny Epic Quest. Looking forward to this one hitting the table.

Finally the reason I’m not bothered about Gloomhaven being delayed by a couple of months, 7th Continent is due to start shipping from the Kickstarters UK/EU distributor tomorrow. Luckily when asked when I wanted the game I said asap instead of the “wait to the end of August” option. Which means along with the others that said asap should be getting priority on the orders going out.

So let’s see how happy these postal gods are with me. 

All in for the Sultan

It was the end of the working week. I’d done diddly squat with my week off. Apart from take my recovering mother shopping that is. Chaos Cards had got the replacement copy of the new Five Tribes expansion Whims of the Sultan to me real quick. A lot quicker than I was expecting. Which was cool, because it meant we were able to use it for that evenings planned game of Five Tribes with that expansion. We did have a backup plan, that involved using Jonathan’s copy that had arrived the previous day.

Edmund helped me set up. With all the expansions being used (The Artisans of Naqala, Thieves of Naqala,  Whims of the Sultan, Wilwit promo, and Dhenim promo, side note there is a third promo that I don’t have because it was only part of a couple of crowdfunding campaigns for a couple of gaming channels earlier this year) we were now looking at a massive 7 by 6 grid of tiles. 

Whims of the Sultan adds the pieces for a fifth player. A new auction board, and turn order board for use with 5 players. 6 new tiles, 2 new djinns, a whims deck, and some meeples. 

With the reference cards from the core game, and the expansions that’s a lot of cardboard in front of each player. It’s a shame Artisans only has four reference cards.

We played fully loaded, both expansion wise and player wise. Considering that fact our game took approximately 1:45. That’s pretty good really. 

This was the first time I’d played with Thieves in the mix. And needlessly to say the first time with Whims. Like Istanbul Five Tribes is a game that the expansions add to them in a good way. And at the moment both are on the right side of not being a step too far. 

In Whims controlling the “fabulous” city tiles gives you a nice bonus at the end scoring depending on how many you control. Control all 5 that’s 125 points! I managed three for 45 points.

Thieves gives you a Thieves deck that you can buy from instead of the djinn row. The thief can be used and then discarded after use, or if unused at the end counts as points like a djinn.

The lake tile from Whims has players vying for control of the adjacent tiles, especially those with palms or palaces on because it doubles their value. 

I liked playing with the expansions, they add some great alternate ways to amass points. But they haven’t added too much complexity to the game. If anything that’s mostly in the set up. I was concerned about the fifth player. But it worked ok with the extra player. Usually expansions that add an extra player are detrimental to the game. But this didn’t feel like that.

I can just about fit everything into the core box and the Whims box. A custom insert might take that down to just the core box. 

“Epic” Five Tribes or “Fully Loaded” is a fun experience. Not sure I’ll be playing the core game much, it’s going to be “all in” every time (unless playing with a noob). 

We had a laugh or two playing. Chris’s friend Chris won. Another great Friday evening gaming.