My work day usually starts at approximately 5am, with me waking up to the days news on Radio 5 Live playing. This Friday it was 4:45am. So it was the tail end of Up All Night playing.
The dogs then get let out to answer the call of nature. I have a bath listening to my current audio book American Gods. Which I’m still listening to as I make my first coffee of the day using my Aeropress. I savour my coffee while watching the latest episode of Scandal, and eat a couple of chocolate chip brioche.
After Mum collected the dogs I got dressed, packed my work stuff, and hit the road for work.
I’m listening to classic 8-bit chip tunes from the likes of Galway, Hubbard and Whittaker for the Commodore 64 as I bounce around the Fenland back roads.
My second mug of coffee for the day is at work as I troll my friends with horror stories of my mums cooking. They aren’t biting today. I’m going to have to try harder.
My logic for the day is to stock up on calories for the nights endurance gaming! So I nip along to the college restaurant to buy a breakfast bap (sausage, bacon and egg). But I luck out, they are doing a full breakfast (add beans, mushrooms and fried bread to the mix) for £2.50. Fantastic value.
The previous day the Rey starter for Star Wars Destiny had arrived. So I’d taken both starters and the playmat to work for myself and Dale to play lunchtime.
I’d been watching a lot of Destiny videos during the week to have a good idea of how to play the game.
So that may spoil how I feel about the game. But yes I liked it.
We were a bit slow playing, I think this was the first time Dale had played a game like this. But the game isn’t too complicated. There is a nice flow to the game. I take an action, you take an action, repeat.
I like the pass action, so you can wait and see. Well unless the other player also passes and that then ends the round and you are into upkeep.
Having the base with an ability is cool. Plus all the mechanisms round it. From the roll off for who gets to select the base to use for the game (both players bring one to the table), the one selected chooses first player, and the player going second gets two shields. Then in the game claiming the base is an action, allowing you to use the bases ability, it then means you go first next round. However it also means you can not do any further actions that round. When to claim is a very tactical decision. Being first next round may be more important than still doing stuff in the current round.
What’s nice is you have that Magic/Netrunner construction element building your thirty card deck. Ok we didn’t get to do that because we were playing with starter sets. But you also have the dice element giving you that Dicemasters feel. For me this is a better Dicemasters. Which is a game I really enjoyed.
The two starters are great to play against each other. Why they only give you one Finn die I don’t know. His character can have two. Just having that bit more flexibility in the starters would have been good.
But still this game for me lives up to the hype. I’m hoping once supply issues have been solved this will be a regular thing between Dale and me.
Classes finish at 4pm. I packed my games I had at work that I thought I’d need over the Easter holidays. And then loaded my car up with my games and my gaming table that I use at work.
My drive home is a different route than in the morning. It’s still across the Fenland landscape but using the main artery. It’s not as busy in the evenings as it is in the mornings.
When I hit my home town, the Capital of the Fens, I pull into Lidls to stock up on supplies for the nights gaming. For £14 I got a lot of stuff.
At home I quickly changed. Got a selection of games together to take with me. Loaded up the car, and headed off into the night to play games.
Earlier in the day I had promised that I would donate ten pounds of the realm if Jonathan didn’t play yellow all night. A true trial for him, because yellow is his favourite colour, and he always plays yellow if available.
Chris had also made a commitment to pay a £1 for each game he lost. Would we be able to gang up and deny Chris wins for charity?
We knew Diego wasn’t going to arrive until between 7:30 and 8pm. So the nights gaming started off with a game of Mint Works.
It was the perfect game to start with. Quick to play, quick to teach. And the perfect duration, because Diego turned up whilst we were playing. But didn’t have long to wait because our game was near the end.
I think this was the first time in the games I’ve played so far that’s ended with a draw. Which meant Chris and I had to go to the tie breakers to determine a winner. The first tie breaker was for the smallest neighbourhood gets the win. We drew that also. Then it went to who had the most mints left. Bugger Chris won the tie breaker, and the game.
Chris wins: 1 loses: 0
With the win stolen from me on a technicality, the only thing to console me was the amazing cake that Diego had bought with him that he’d made.
Our first big game of the night was Jonathan’s game of the year for 2016, The Voyages of Marco Polo. I totally screwed up my tactics for this game. Which was why I came last. Nearly lapped on the points front by Chris. Even now I’m disgusted at myself for how bad I did. I didn’t even have the excuse of being tired! But still another victory for Chris, another pound lost.
Chris wins: 2 loses: 0
Our second big game of the night was Great Western Trail. I got my tactics spot on in this game. I bought only two additional cows. Instead I went for station bonuses, using certificates to boost my money at the market, and maxed out on the engineer and the railroad guy, and building buildings. For me Great Western Trail played much better as a four player game than a two. Oh I won this one. Making up for my poor effort in Marco Polo.
Chris wins: 2 loses: 1
Saloon Tycoon was next to the table. Once again I under performed and came in a miserable last. I could possibly use the excuse I was tired to explain it away. Or I was still in shock I’d won Great Western Trail. But it was during our play of Saloon Tycoon that Diego gave us our comedic moment of the night when (and I paraphrase here) he said “feck off”. It appeared to be aimed at Chris who had just taken a card or character from him, but in reality it was Diego swearing at a poor card draw (iirc). But it was hilarious and the source of much merriment at his expense.
Chris wins: 3 loses: 1
We decided to switch it down a gear during the early hours of the night by playing Imhotep. Tactically I was awful once more. This game night seems to have a running theme of me screwing up my tactics. But at least this time Diego took the honours, denying Chris a victory.
Chris wins: 3 loses: 2
You know what’s a good idea at gone three in the morning? Having Chris teach everyone else a new game. That game being Mission: Red Planet. I’d like to play this when I’m less tired before saying much about it. I have a thought or two on it. But I’d like to make an opinion not clouded by lack of sleep. But the winning machine of the night Chris walked away with the win.
Chris wins: 4 loses: 2
Our final game of the night was The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I did very well on this, surprisingly well considering. And only just lost to you guessed it Chris.
Chris wins: 5 loses: 2
So our 7pm to 7am gaming session for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day ended. No one had any sleep. No bad tempers due to lack of sleep. Everyone had a great time playing some awesome games (none of that Hasbro stuff). We raised some money for a good cause. And I got some of Diego’s cake to take home.
There is only one way to wrap up such a trial of human endurance. Yep Jonathan and I headed off to the local Wetherspoons for their generic signature fried breakfast. Not shown the side order of black pudding I ordered.
Once home and reunited with the Wolfpack I ended my sleep deprivation trial of 28.5 hours by falling asleep (a three hour nap).
I know these posts are only worth reading so that you can get to the pictures of me at the end. So I’m not going to disappoint. Thanks Jonathan for taking them.
At time of writing we raised £130 plus the gift aid on top of that for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day.