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chatteris warlords

Chatteris Warlords Christmas Party

Yesterday was the Chatteris Warlords Christmas Party. Gaming and free food, the perfect Sunday afternoon!

Just for the record so that you know what all the cool kids are playing at the Chatteris Warlords and my FLGS The Hobbit Hole, it’s Blood Bowl. When I arrived at the Christmas Party there were three or four games of Blood Bowl on the go.

What surprised my was I saw a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse taking place and I didn’t laugh. It’s not my favourite superhero inspired game. It sits there at the bottom, a hairs width above the DC Deckbuilding Game.

Sadly I missed out in joining a game of Scythe. It was interesting to see how some-one else played Rusviet. Fate has dictated that I have only played Rusviet so far. Normally I build the Township mech first so I can grab a factory card early on. Hopefully being the first so I get the best choice of available options. Then I use the Rusviet ability to repeat the previous action to exploit that Factory card silly. Bob had gone River Walk first.

After correcting a rule misreading on combat and the loser being able to get a combat card as long as they had spent at least one combat point through either card or spending power. They were going to play it that you had to have spent a power, not a card if I remember correctly.

There was some confusion over the river walk ability amongst the players. I’m guessing that this was the first time they had played for most of them. I left them having that discussion to go play Small World.

My gaming for the Christmas Party started off with a game of Adventure Time Fluxx. Yes it’s Fluxx, so you either love it or hate it, just like marmite. I fall into the love it camp. Well love maybe too strong a word. I certainly like it, and enjoy playing it.

This was the first time I had played this version of Fluxx. I have to say I liked it. It’s a nice version with the keepers and creepers having different abilities that you can use. Especially because one or two of them allow you to steal keepers and creepers from in front of other players, allowing you to get that win condition you need to complete the current goal.

The BG Stat app will show that I won this game of Adventure Time Fluxx. What it won’t show is that it took me three attempts in a massive play all your cards turn to finally win. My first attempt was thwarted when an Action was played removing the goal that I had just played to win the game. My second attempt was down to my own unfamiliarity of the source material and getting characters mixed up. A mistake the others players took great delight in pointing out to me. But my third and final attempt to win was successful thanks to some great (if I say so myself) use of keeper and creeper abilities, and top decking a card or two that I needed.

My second game of the afternoon was losing once more at Batman the Animated Series Dice Game. I had the Riddler character, whilst my opponent had The Joker. Wow the Joker is a powerful character. Scoring an extra point for each set of coloured dice (yellow,blue, grey) that you have in front of you at the end of your turn.

Next up was a two player game of Braggart. Now there is some confusion as to whether this game has a minimum player count of two or three. The box clearly says two. However the rule sheet says three!

It does play ok as a two player game. Although I’m not sure about the Witness card being of any use. Unless you play a liar card on the other players boast, knowing you are now able to replace one of the cards with a lower value card, so instead you kind of then straight away play the Witness card so you can grab the highest value card for yourself! I kind of feel this is like going “LIAR!!!!!”, “Oh wait, nope my mistake it did happen like that”.

My final game of the Christmas Party was Small World. This is another one off my pile of shame. I’m not counting the game of it I played on my iPad.

This is a very nice game. I love the fantasy theme. Having the powers and race separate, and mixed at random when you create the “trade row” is a great idea. You can get some humorous combinations, and some really cool sounding ones (see photo above for an example). Plus it adds replayability. I like the variable cost to buying your race as well. The nearer to the pile of races and powers the more expensive your chosen race will be. But that money doesn’t go into the bank. No. You place one coin on each of the races before the one you want to buy. Then who ever buys one of those races with coins on also gets the coins that are on it. So there may be that situation that you may not want that particular race but the pile of coins sitting on it is too tempting.

There is also a surprising amount of depth to the game because of this variety, as you work out how to best exploit the abilities of the race you selected and it’s power. Some may require that you need to be in control of a particular land type, or that you have conquered territories possessed by others to get a bonus, or you might get a tactical advantage of some sort.

Then you have to decide when your current race has reached it’s limits and thus needs to be put into decline. Which then gives you the problem from the start of the game which new race do you select?

Haven’t got enough troops to do that final conquest before finishing your turn. Only short by between one and three units? Have no fear there are emergency forces on hand in the form of a dice that has values between 1 and three, plus a blank face. If the value of your forces and the rolled dice give you enough to conquer the chosen territory then you succeed. If it doesn’t your forces are forced to retreat to a territory you control.

After you have conquered new lands for your empire, it’s time to redistribute your forces. But where do you need to reinforce to protect your land from your opponents? More great decisions.

Yes I like Small World a lot. With expansions that add more races and powers, plus different maps. This game has a lot of room to grow.

Chatteris Warlords put on a very good Christmas Party that was family friendly, and a good time for all. Thanks for doing this folks.

Bank Holiday Gaming At My FLGS

When I arrived at The Hobbit Hole my FLGS, a game of Spartacus was in progress. 

So I introduced Brian (a fellow gamer at Chatteris Warlords and here) to The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction. 

The first game Brian did well scoring a bomb worth five points. But the cards were being really kind to me. Extremely kind. I played sixteen cards in one of my early turns. I love turns like that. You are playing combos, drawing cards, and hopefully getting resources! With the card gods smiling on me I naturally went on to win the game with a personal best score of thirteen.

Our next game saw the card gods abandon me, and I fell behind in the race to get resources and build bombs. Brian just had that little edge over me. But I did have a massive turn that saw me catch up and get ahead on the uranium front. Plus I’d used up all my cards, and was drawing five new cards. A position I was happy with, because I was hoping it would give me the engineers and scientists I’d need for buying a game winning bomb.

Yep Brian didn’t know it he was on his last turn, a uranium short, and with everything to do if he was to win. And Brian played his hand perfectly. He got the one uranium he needed, and had the labour he needed to complete his bomb to grab the win. 

I really really love it when the game is that close. 

Brain and I followed up our couple of games of Chain Reaction with Star Realms. But it was Star Realms with the new United expansions.

Because of the share size of the trade deck with all the other expansions mixed in (just over three hundred cards I roughly calculated)  I took the top third and shuffled in the new cards. That would make sure we hit some of the new cards. 

Our first game was over pretty quickly, very few new cards were bought. No missions were completed. But I’d been scraping a lot, and getting some nice attacks in. It felt like if you blinked you’d missed the game. But what you wouldn’t have missed is my win.

Our second game was much more epic. We were trading blows. We bought, and used the new cards. The Faction Pairs – oh wow does that make comboing interesting. The maths working out attack, money, or even card discards etc is insane. 

The new Heroes are expensive but that balances out their power nicely. CEO Shaner won me the game. It triggered enough additional authority to keep me in the game, buying me enough time to complete my three missions and grab the win.

When I won, it was close. Brian was on less than ten points, and I was less than twenty. I think less than fifteen. It could have gone either way with the right card draw.

It was funny we didn’t see any old Heroes or any events in either game. We also didn’t play gambits either. But maybe that was for the best. You can get some insane starts and purchases if the stars align just right for you.

I loved playing the new cards. The missions were cool. They have added new life to a game that for me anyway having played so many games, wasn’t screaming for a fresh injection of life. But I’ll happily play with them. Although I’d probably just play core set to teach a new player before throwing them in the deep end with the works. But I’m still loving this game so much.

After our games Brian had to return back to family life and the real world. Which meant I could watch the game of Spartacus. I’d not played the game before, and found it was interesting. Although I’m not sure it’s a game I’d place high up on my “to play” list. 

After a brief chat with John, plans made, which will be revealed later in the week, it was time for me to head back to my Wolfpack and watching The Big Bang Theory for the umpteenth time. It’s one of those shows I can watch and watch.

Learning Starcraft 

Last night at the Chatteris Warlords weekly meet up Bob bought along his recently acquired copy of Starcraft the boardgame. A copy that was in amazing condition, and purchased at an unbelievably cheap price. Go google the game, and see how much this game goes for normally. I can tell you Bob didn't pay anything near to those prices.

My water damaged box, and the odd damaged card (due to a previous owner storing the cards by holding them together with elastic bands, the elastic had attached itself to the odd card), copy of Starcraft the boardgame has been sitting on my pile of shame ever since I got it. And yes I paid more for this copy than Bob did his, and I thought I was getting a bargain at the time!

I did have the odd game with me, such as Thiefs Market, The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction. But they had been left in the car because earlier in the day on the Chatteris Warlords club page on Facebook, Bob had posted he was bringing along the game, and wanted to know who was up for playing it.

Five players were soon gathered together to play Starcraft. None of us had played the game before. So this was a learn as we play game.

Ben had already pushed two tables together for gaming when he arrived. But as we went through the setup process of the game, it soon became clear this was not big enough. We needed a third table. So pulling apart the two tables and slotting a third in the middle, we just about had enough space to play. Wow this is a big game!

No sooner had we finished setting up, than the last member of the clubs committee turned up, so the regular committee meeting was held. This meant we had to pause so Ben and Bob (who hold positions of power on the committee) could take part in the meeting. Usually these meetings are a wham, bam, thank you mam, type affair. But this time it decided to drag itself out. I have to admit it's interruption to game play as the meeting dragged on was starting to get to me. If the meeting had dragged on for ten minutes longer than it had I would have dropped out of the game.

We started playing again. Working our way through the stages of a turn. The player on my right was getting on my tits. He wasn't giving the game it's full attention, instead more bothered about his feckin Pokemon Go stuff. For fecks sake play the game or feck off I thought. He was slowing the game down.

This was a learning game. I thought I had only one resource, compared to the others. Which meant I wasn't going to be able to build anything on my turn until I conquered another planet to get them. So this meant I issued a move order to attack Ben's forces. Something I wouldn't have done when it turned out minutes later that we had a default pool of resources we could call upon. So with altered plans I built a new transport ship or whatever they are called, and moved to another unoccupied planet.

It was handy that Ben and I had a fight over a planet, because it meant we learnt the rules for battles. Which aren't really that complicated. Well that's how they seemed last night.

It was obvious that we were not going to finish the game. This is another one of those games that will take hours to play, not something for a club night. This game needs a Saturday session like the one I organised recently for A Game of Thrones the boardgame to do it justice.

We completed a second round of the game. I think on the banked victory points I had won with eight. The others were in the three,four point region. But I'm sure that if we had played longer I wouldn't have held onto that lead. I have to admit I was getting very frustrated with the player on my right during this second round. Him and his bloody phone and Pokemon Go. then his friend came over and chatted to him, distracting him further. He saw my Instagram likes popping up on my screen. Oh I was getting more likes than him for my picture, what's my ID on Instagram? Oh feck off I wanted to say, but begrudgedly through gritted teeth I gave my ID.

From the play through we had. And it was a learning game. So I can forgive Jamie on my left for needing to ask multiple times the same question. That doesn't slow the game down too much, and is great for banter at his expense. Although I don't think Bob will forgive Jamie for breaking one of the miniatures off its stand. I won't forgive the ignorant player on my right. However I disgress. From this limited play, I can tell I like this game, and definitely want to get a session going to play the game all the way to the end. Now all I need to do is try and find a time and place to get that game in.


Drive By

At last nights Warlords weekly meet up I got a chance to test drive my first attempt at a Criminal deck. 

I’m an Anarch at heart, I love playing Noise (although the leaked/spoiled Anarch id null from the next data cycle may tempt me away) especially with Faust/David/Street Magic/Wylde Side/Pancakes – which has most people online raging against them (this might be gutted with the first update to the most wanted list due to drop any day now).

So playing a faction I don’t usually play is a big thing.

However I was tempted to come up with this deck after the Run Last Click guys mentioned the Drive By card in the live broadcast they did at the UK Games Expo.

In my hunting online to find out just what the good ice breakers are for Criminal, I stumbled across a card combo that would install Femme Fatale for free! It was out of faction but had to be used a nine cost ice breaker is way way too expensive.

The main thing I wanted to play with in this deck was the Drive By, Gang Sign and Rebirth.

My starting id for this deck is Andromeda giving me an initial massive nine card draw. If that doesn’t give me rebirth, it should allow me to fish for it using some of the card draw or planned assault. 

Once I get rebirth I can then swap to a Criminal id more suitable for the matchup I’m facing.

From what I can tell Criminal is all about the central servers particularly HQ. 

This deck is running a lot of events for me , giving economy, exposing cards, making the hit on HQ more painful for the Corp, and finding cards.

Running one copy of my breakers may seem recless but with the events I can get to them quickly if need be.

Window I added because how many times after losing has the card you really needed been on the bottom of the stack? 

In the game last night I mulliganed, in the second hand I drew I got two sure gambles. A cash rich start. Ben iced up HQ quickly. So a Sneakdoor Beta on an unprotected Archives scored me an agenda. Guess who iced up archives then?

Gang sign scored me an agenda when Ben scored his first agenda. I managed to score a third agenda from HQ. I was sitting on six agenda points while Ben had five. 

My biggest problem was having enough credits to drive my ice breakers in the lay stages of the game. Which slowed down my assault on HQ. 

Ben scored the final agenda he needed to get the win.

I liked the way this deck played. The combo worked to get Femme out for free. Drive By did its job a couple of times. Gang Sign got me an agenda. So the little ‘tricks’ worked. 

We followed up our Netrunner game with Firefly Fluxx which Ben won. 

My final game of the evening was a four player game of Epic. The decks were dealt randomly (in the interests of time), and we played it that you could only attack player to your left, with only the two players doing battle able to play events to influence it, however everyone else could play events when the current player tried to end their turn.

I was the first to be knocked out. However I’m pleased with that, considering the random element to the decks, the cards I had drawn were not bad. I could have been dealt worse cards. In the end Ben emerged triumphant again. A clean sweep for him.

Great evening gaming. But now I have to decide if I play this new Criminal deck at Saturday’s comp at my FLGS or stick to my tried and tested, but more importantly familiar Noise.

Here is my deck…

Drive By Swap
Andromeda (Humanity’s Shadow)
Event (28)

3x Drive By (The Underway)

2x Easy Mark (Core Set)

1x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)

1x Express Delivery (Honor and Profit)

2x Infiltration (Core Set)

2x Inside Job (Core Set)

1x Lawyer Up (True Colors)

2x Legwork (Honor and Profit)

1x Lucky Find (Double Time) ••

1x Planned Assault (Honor and Profit)

1x Rebirth (The Liberated Mind) •

2x Satellite Uplink (Trace Amount)

2x Scavenge (Creation and Control) ••••

2x Special Order (Core Set)

2x Sure Gamble (Core Set)

2x Test Run (Cyber Exodus) ••••• •

1x Unscheduled Maintenance (The Spaces Between)
Hardware (6)

1x Desperado (Core Set) ☆

2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

2x Public Terminal (Honor and Profit)

1x Window (Honor and Profit)
Resource (8)

2x Gang Sign (The Underway)

3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit)

1x Street Magic (Kala Ghoda) •
Icebreaker (4)

1x Aurora (Core Set)

1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)

1x Leviathan (Second Thoughts)

1x Crypsis (Core Set)
Program (2)

1x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set)

1x Au Revoir (The Source)
48 cards (minimum 45)

14/14 (=15-1☆) influence used

Cards up to The Liberated Mind

I rolled for the Galaxy 

So last night at the Chatteris Warlords after playing a two player game about a year ago with Nath, I finally got Roll for the Galaxy back to the table.

Once more my experience of the game was a two player one. I really must get this to the table with more players to see just how much the experience differs.

We both for a few turns didn’t have much of an engine to bring in money to buy more dice from the citenzary. Which meant I was stuck recruiting one or two dice at a time, and exploring/developing one or two point planets. I did manage a four point one! My tenth planet is one I wished I’d gotten much earlier in the game because it gave me a dollar/credit each time I developed/explored a planet.

In the meantime my opponent was scoring higher valued planets, and was producing a yellow planet which she shipped to get six dollars/credits. My only saving grace was she was conservative spending the money, and only buying three dice at a time. 

I hit the required twelve developed planets in my empire. Game over. But had I done enough to win?

We totalled up our scores and by the skin of my teeth I’d won! 

If my opponent had developed one more planet or had not had one of her starting worlds with no score, we could have been looking at a different result.

Thinking about the game now after the fact, I should have at least attempted to produce on my planets to increase my income. I wasn’t rolling more than three dice at a time. Which is shameful I think. I’m going to have to work out why I don’t do it. Is it confidence?  I like the game, I’m just not great at it. Well it is my second time playing.

A Short Post About Tuesday

Tuesday at the Warlords Chatteris club night saw some games being played by others.

However I did get to introduce John (owner of my FLGS The Hobbit Hole) to Ashes Rise of the Phoenixborn.

After “quickly” constructing two decks from the suggested ones in the rule book (which is a nice touch) it was time for…

I was playing Saria while John played Aradel. Coming from a Magic background John picked up the game quickly.

It was cool forcing John to mill cards from his deck. But I just wasn't doing it quick enough to have an impact on Aradels health. Although it was reducing his ability to do stuff like focusing ready spells.

However John ended up the victor. He enjoyed the game. But enough to start promoting it in store? Not yet. I'm going to have to arrange with him a demo day.

We did open up one of the OP kits I've got in for the tournament at the end of August. Oh boy the first place prize play mat is beautiful. It's nice that they included a full colour glossy copy of the organising an OP event booklet (also available as a PDF on their website). It's miles better than the FFG one that goes in the FFG OP kits.

I also have a load of these dice pool position cards from DriveThrough Cards done by an Ashes fan (can't remember who) to use at either a demo event or the OP in August. There might be enough for both actually.

So watch out for a demo day for Ashes at The Hobbit Hole either July or early August.


Pick on me

Four player Neuroshima Hex played as a deathmatch is an interesting experience. It should have been a free for all, with everyone attacking each other. However, for a while it seemed more like everyone was just going to crap on Darren. My HQ was attacked by the others for what seemed like most of the game.

Once I was gone I knew they would turn on each other. Somehow I managed to hang in there with six hit points, when that fighting amongst themselves started. Their hit points started to drop off fast.

The final battle was triggered by one of the other players. One of them died, another just about stayed alive but with less points than me, and somehow I ended up in second place!

For a first play for the others, and the bit longer to find out what the tiles did, and learning the game, this four player game took a reasonable hour to play. Yes Neuroshima Hex plays best with two. But it's still a great game with four. So scales well I think.

Other games going on at this weeks Chatteris Warlords were Bolt Action, Dead of Winter, Star Realms, Warhammer Conquest, and some fantasy themed wargame.

Frustrated from Chatteris

Last night I I managed to get a couple of games of Netrunner in. Practice for the coming weekends store comp.

The first game was my Noise against a Weyland deck. The corp took an early lead on the agenda front while I was building up my deck. I was very cash rich at the start, with a David out, Street Magic, Aesops, incubator out in support. Two parasites in hand.

My opponent quickly iced up archives, had a scoring server setup. I did some runs to get targets for the parasites to hit. With a second incubator out I was thinking I'd load up a medium and hit R&D. My parasites were attacking ice protecting archives and the scoring server.

Trashing one of my incubators to take out the ice on archives. Bingo! Five agenda points, back in the game.

Trashed the second incubator taking out the second piece of ice I was attacking with the other parasite. My David steam rolled through the remaining ice to get me the last two points for the win.

In our second game despite some misplays by both of us, I scraped out a win on agenda points.

The rest of the gaming group were playing 7 Wonders with all the expansions. There was some Magic action going on, plus the retro version of Bolt Action, Flint Action.

And while all this gaming goodness was going on Robert was struggling with his inner demons trying to build decks for Netrunner. His frustration almost turning into rage. I've since found out he has quit the game!


World domination naturally…

Tuesday night, must be Chatteris Warlords (unless it's the Fenland Gamers Formula D league night).

My first game(s) of the evening were Love Letter Batman and the classic original Love Letter. I won the Batman game. However Robert who I was playing with (plus another) didn't enjoy playing this version. His preference was the classic version, which Robert seemed to be remembering was different to the Batman one.

So I pointed out I had the classic version and we could play that. The enthusiasm wasn't overwhelming. It had been like playing with two doped up patients. Both half asleep.

We started our game of the classic Love Letter. Robert looked at the summary sheet of cards, and saw that the two games apart from the art was the same (there was one difference but I'll come to that).

However Robert did seem to visibly enjoy the classic much more than the Batman version, getting much more involved. Had he woken up?!!!

Robert went on to get the win after taking an early lead, which stalled and allows myself and the other player to come back into the game and come close to winning ourselves.

Now the only difference between classic and Batman is one rule change. If in the Batman version if you play the Batman card which is the guard card in classic (value 1) and guess correctly you get a point as well as eliminating the other player you just guessed. This is the bit Robert didn't like it “made the game quicker”.

Naturally I disagree, I love the Batman version. It's my favourite version of the game. I love the theme, the art, and I like the rule just described. I like it because yes it's a double edged sword, but it allows some-one trailing to get back into the game. Plus it fits thematically. That point is Batmans reward for capturing a bad guy that's escaped Arkham and putting them back.

So while we were playing Love Letter and our next game, there was a couple of Bolt Action games going on. Plus a game of Blokus that got followed by some Magic the Gathering.

My next game was a first for me, Marvel Legendary: Villians. I don't own this version of Legendary, I may do one day but at the moment, I don't (although Nathan does, well I did buy it as a present for him).

Our group of Villians which included King Pin, Venom, Ultron plus some others were having their cunning plans for world domination thwarted by Doctor Strange and the defenders and some other superheroes like the Uncanny X-Men.

In general this plays just like Marvel Legendary with some minor variations on somethings. What Villians has that Marvel Legendary doesn't is a neoprene playmat. Which is far superior to the cardboard one in Marvel Legendary.

Our motley crew of criminals did managed to beat Doctor Strange and his cronies. Which means we were free to take over the world!

Now once you defeat the Commander (Doctor Strange) because the game is cooperative it can end just there. However you can decide a “winner” based on how many heroes and bystanders that you defeated. Each has a point value. It's this after scoring that is used in official competitive Marvel Legendary play. So we tallied up our points and I emerged the victor.

As I left for home, a bunch were mid game playing Star Realms, including the heroes cards. Which I haven't played with myself. I must get round to doing that sometime.

Another great evening of gaming, that had something new but familiar, and something 'old'.

For the giggles

A lovely sunny spring day, having a life and commitments, whatever the reason it was a small turn out for last nights meetup to play games at the Chatteris Warlords.
As usual a variety of games were being played. March Jamie was constructing a Magic commander deck. A game of Bolt Action once more pitted allied forces against axis forces. Whilst Cthulhu had infiltrated the Fluxx universe in Cthulhu Fluxx. In a far corner four player Star Realms was taking place, followed by a just for the giggles game of Warhammer 40k Conquest by a couple of players.
My gaming for the evening saw me playing Robert at Ashes once a group discussion about Wizkids and how horrid their release schedule was with their games.

I was playing the constructed deck for Maeoni, while Robert played the constructed deck for Nessa. Instead of selecting our starting five cards we just dealt the top five of the deck to make up our first five. Well it made sense since we didn't know the decks or what cards would be good to start with.

I like that Ashes has suggested decks for all of the six Phoenixborn in the base box. It does allow noobs to the game to get up and running straight away, and then allow them to move onto deck building.

Despite loosing, I was only able to get gilders out, and the silver snake didn't make it until it was too late, I enjoyed playing.

Maybe we were playing slower than experienced players but we were noobs to the game after all.

The dice as a resource you have to manage is a great idea that works well. It'd be great to play this more often. Hopefully it will catch on. Then I can delve into the deck building side. Deck building is fun.

My second game of the evening and last was a couple of games of Cthulhu Fluxx. I broke even here with a win and a loss. My win was even sweeter than normal because it was given to me. March Jamie played an action that involved collecting up all the keepers and creepers out in front of people, shuffle them, then deal them back out to everyone. We had a few of both. Guess what got dealt to me? Yep the keeper and creeper that were needed to meet the active goal. I instantly won. Sweet.

Some great gaming again, well worth the thirty min drive.