Category Archives: FEG@WL

Tribes of the Mad King

How did your weekend start? 

Mine started off as usual. I got home, threw two games into a bag, got into my car, and pulled out of our tiny unadopted road.

Things deviated from the usual Friday night routine more or less within five seconds of the junction to our road.

I saw the following scene. A car stopped at an angle in the road. A grey hound lying on the pavement with a woman knelt beside it.  I thought maybe the dog had collapsed whilst being walked, and the woman needed help. I couldn’t explain the car. Or that the dog had got out and the owner had gone looking for the dog and found it. Truth be told I had no idea what had happened. But I did know a dog and it’s owner were in need of help. So I stopped to help.

It turned out the woman wasn’t the owner but had just hit the dog with her car. It had just run out into the road. 

There was a nasty gash on the front of the dog. It was important to keep the dog still. While the driver was looking for a vets number to call, I tried keeping the dog still, calm. I used a hanky to try and apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.

While this was going on a couple of the drivers colleagues pulled up and offered help. As did the owner of the dog. The owner had another dog with her. The hit dog had been “spooked” while the owner was trying to pick up its poo, and ran away.

The vet wouldn’t come out to the dog. The mountain had to go to Mohammad. The dog would need more than my blood soaked hanky on its wound to allow it to be moved.  I took off my hoodie and we used that to make a slightly improved bandage. The drive and colleagues with the owner got the dog on a blanket and moved it to the back of a car. 

I handed over a spare blanket I had in the back of my car, just in case it was needed by then. One of the colleagues offered to take the owner and her dog to the vets.

They departed off to the vets,  which is where I leave the story. 

I have no idea what happened to the dog. I’m hoping the vet was able to save the dog. A bit of me is scared to try and find out. I don’t want there to be a sad end to the story. If I contact the vet to find out, that illusion of a happy ending is shattered. 

I loved Lassie movies as a kid. Yeah those old black and whites. But they would always have me in tears. Mind you so would movies like King Kong when Kong dies. You should see me at the end of the animated classic All Dogs Go To Heaven. I’m a mess.

When I arrived at The White Lion I went straight to the men’s room to wash off the blood from my right hand where I had been holding the hanky on the wound of the dog. Playing with a bloody hand might have freaked people out.

Our two games for the evening were two great games, Five Tribes and The Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Our first game of the evening was a favourite, Five Tribes, that hadn’t seen nearly enough time on the table. But that’s the draw back of having a collection full of great games. Too many great games, not enough time. It’s a first world problem. 

We played just the base game, no expansions. But we could have, but didn’t.

Early on I got a djinn that stopped my yellow and white meeples being assassinated from in front of me. Then I got one that made all my yellow meeples worth three points instead of one. I even assassinated a yellow meeple in front of Jonathan to make sure I had the majority. That’s ten points.

But it was obvious that Chris was going to win once he started to make use of his djinn ability and was placing the tents into his tile that could take tents. He had six on one space! Jonathan had gone the items route to scoring. Which is a route I don’t usually follow.

I think I only placed a couple of camels compared to everyone else. I used the auction stage to try and push up the price of first place and drain the others of money/points. Which worked sometimes, especially when the others were paying eighteen coins to get first place.

There was some serious analysis paralysis (ap) going on at times. Probably one of the few games we play where this goes on. Maybe we should introduce a timer to combat this instead of our current method of scarcasm. Which truth be told only really lengths the time eaten away by the ap.

Still a great game, in which Chris won, Jonathan came second. So I technically failed the “if I can’t win, come higher than Jonathan” goal, because I came third. 

Our second game of the evening was a new favourite of the clubs The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. 

This game is just so much fun. I was very focused this time. Stuck to my initial bonus cards. Got some nice tile scoring combos going. Spent a large portion of the game in front. I got lucky once or twice in that I only once had to spend a turn taking money. And the turns when I had a couple thousand in front of me I was left something I could buy that fitted in with my plans!

Somehow Jonathan amassed an incredible amount of money. That was worth 7 points to him in the end scoring. 7 valuable points that moved him from joint last to third.

I came second to Diego by three points. 

Do I need to say how the evening ended? Oh ok greasy slices of seasoned “lamb” meat delicately thrown into a wrap with a light “seasonal salad”, and a spicy chilli sauce.
Somehow I’d gone the whole day without watching Iron Fist on Netflix. When I woke up it hadn’t been released yet, then work got in the way! But once home and reunited with my wolf pack, it was time to snuggle up and start binging on the latest Marvel superhero to hit the small screen.

FEG@WL 10Mar17 

Life is full of hard decisions, such as which games to take to the game night. Luckily earlier in the day that decision had been made for me when Chris had said he’d got his copy of Great Western Trail. It was a no brainer. Yes we would like to play one of the current hot games!

I traveled light and took Mint Works and Archer: Once You Go Blackmail

Jonathan and I had a quick game of Mint Works while we waited for Chris to arrive.  It really is a nice little filler game. It’s what Nantucket should have aspired to be. But let’s not dwell on that train wreck. What is important is that I won this game of Mint Works.

Chris arrived mid game. But because this is such a fast game to play, especially two player, he didn’t have long to wait for my glorious victory.

Just after setting up Great Western Trail it dawned on Jonathan that we wouldn’t be finished in time for his very important date. So we quickly adjusted the setup for two players.

Jonathan left us knowing he now had to convince us at a later date to bring two games he really wanted to try back to the table. Ok we’d take no convincing, but in reality we’d probably make Jonathan beg. It would be the right thing to do until we usurp him from his Iron Throne.

So Great Western Trail, what do I think?

I like it. Like it a lot. I enjoyed it much more than A Feast For Odin.

I liked the deck building aspect, combined with hand management. Your deck represents your herd of cattle. Your hand the cattle you are trying to deliver to Kansas that run of the trail. When you hit Kansas you need unique types of cattle to score. But during the trail you need pairs, or specific types to trigger a tiles ability. 

The tile placing part is cool. And placing them presents some cool tactical decisions. Which will not only influence the route you take to Kansas but influence the choices of the other players.

You also get to recruit people, these people enable you to buy better cattle, build better tiles, or move your train more spaces.

As you deliver your herd to a city some cool stuff happens. Which includes deciding how you are going to upgrade your player board. Pulling into a train station first allows you gain an instant bonus plus an ongoing one. 

That’s just scratching the surface of the game. There is a lot of depth to this game.

Ok so there is one thing I didn’t like. In a two player game, if the second player triggers the end game, player one gets an extra turn.

It felt odd and wrong. The majority of games usually end so that everyone has had an equal number of turns. 

But the Great Western Trail way means player 1 gets a chance to score more points, which in our game was an extra thirteen points. Which made Chris’s margin of victory even greater than it should have been!

One extra coin at the start for the second player isn’t enough compensation for this. I think this will need a house rule to “fix”.

I’m still undecided whether there should be player aids for this game. I think I’m leaning towards yes there should be.

It really has been great that Chris joined our group. He may correct me on this but I think he might have an addiction issue for the hobby like Jonathan and myself. And he seems to be buying the latest hit games also. Which means my bank account looks a little bit healthier. Plus Chris will most likely cave and back CMoNs latest Kickstarter project Rising Sun. The spiritual successor to Blood Rage. Which would allow me to keep my blood oath of hate against CMoN. 

So Oracle of Delphi and Terraforming Mars to play and that will be the hottness of last year tried. I must do a look at the current bgg hotness list, it seems about the right time to do it again.

After losing to Chris, instead of the traditional meat orgy in a wrap, I went straight home to Strider. Strider had a bit of an issue with his back legs. So I wanted to be back for him.

A feast of mints

Woohoo! It’s the weekend.

And my weekend starts at 4pm as soon as the last student has left my classroom. Just over two hours later I’ll be gaming with friends. 

I get home, quickly throw some games into a bag. As far as I’m aware at this point in the time space continuum it’s myself and Diego that are meeting up. And that knowledge informs my game selection. 

In the hotel car park Diego is just about to enter the hotel as I pull in. 

We get our poison of choice, and retire to the “gaming room” (ok it’s not really a “gaming room” it’s the restaurant area with a bloody lovely large wooden table we are allowed to play on) to play our games in comfort.

Diego and I played Mint Works, a game that was literally burning a hole in my pocket since it’s arrival. It’s a worker placement game that fits in a pocket easily (I should do a post about my current “micro” games in my bag).

I liked Mint Works. It gives that worker placement experience in a small, quick package.

Naturally that little altoid tin it comes in is awesome. Like Love Letter it has that whole “wait, there’s a game in this small package” thing going on. 

The only complaint I have over component quality is my first player counter. As you can see above one side shouldn’t have passed quality control. I like how the counters you play with look like mints. The graphic design on the cards is functional, and easy to understand. It’s not going to win best art work of the year.

The rules are simple and quick to learn, and teach.

It’s a nice simple, quick to play (about 20 minutes) game. 

This is going to stay in my bag, ready to pull out and play at a moments notice.

We had just finished playing when Chris turned up with A Feast for Odin in hand.

Wow this game is mind blowing.

Setting up just puts you in a state of shock when you see the amount of components the game has. It’s like Rosenberg decided to set some sort of Guiness world record for most components in a game. A challenge of sorts to other game designers, “beat this I dare you”. 

You look at the main board where you will be selecting your actions, and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed initially. There’s a lot of actions you can potentially do on a turn.

This is not a simple game. It’s definitely one that needs a few plays to get to grips with. Well that’s my excuse for losing.

A Feast for Odin definitely feels like Rosenberg put two or three of his previous games in a blender and this was the blended smoothy result. And this smoothy tastes good.

I definitely enjoyed this much much more than one of its patents Agricola/Caverna.

At the end of the evening Chris told us he managed to get a reasonably priced copy of the much in demand, and between printings, Great Western Trail. I’m looking forward to Chris bringing it along for us to play.

Yeah the weekend got off to another great start.

The Planets Align

I’ve not posted for a day or two. So I know you must have withdrawal symptoms from being denied your fresh dosage of poor attempts at humour and bad English. But fear not I’m back today with this post.

It probably doesn’t feel like it but I do only post when I have something to say, and don’t post just any old thing!

Now I have been gaming during the week. But it’s been at work. And for obvious reasons I’m going to keep that to a minimum on here. 

It was Friday yesterday. The end of the working week. Always after a break, that first week back seems longer usually. But this week it’s flown by. Maybe it’s because we survived Storm Doris and the excitement and route finding challenges (blocked roads due to blown over lorries) that it presented.

Still that pint of Thatchers cider sure did taste mighty good and well deserved during our gaming session.

Our first game of the evening was going to be Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It had just arrived in Diego’s collection. I’d had just missed out on buying it second hand. But wasn’t too upset when I saw it was Diego that had beaten me to get it. I knew I’d get to play it. 

However before setting up I got a message from Chris to say he was 20 minutes away and had Blood Rage with him. Diego and I were happy to hear that news. We both wanted to play that game.

We chatted until Chris turned up, and with no arm twisting, tummy punches, bullying, water boarding, kidnapping or chemicals, Jonathan (under his own free will) said he’d also play Blood Rage.

So we were doing this. We were playing Blood Rage. A game I listed in my “Don’t wanna buy, but wanna try” post.

As usual for a CMoN game the minis, especially the big monster ones looked stunning. 

As much as I hate and despise CMoN, I can’t take away the fact that they nail it when it comes to making great minis in games.

I liked the card drafting at the start of each round. Plus using a different deck each time, that ramped up how powerful the cards got.

The three rounds went fast. Surprisingly so. The game had a nice pace to it. It didn’t drag.

The combat worked well, it was simple and fast. Which helped the pace of the game.

There is a nice resource management element that works well. Having to decide how to spend your rage. Installing upgrades, taking actions, and which ones. If I hadn’t been stealing rage from the others I might have had some really difficult choices to make! Also deciding which trait to upgrade, do you want more rage next round, or more warriors on the board, or maybe more points when you win a battle (which didn’t benefit me with my tactic).

Oh and it’s a very easy game to learn. Like all games with a drafting element it’s going to take a few games to see all the cards and learn what they do. But rules, actions wise so easy to pick up. 


In our game the planets aligned for me. This was probably my best ever first play of a game.

I stumbled upon the tactic of wanting to get into battles and lose. Losing and dying, sending warriors to Valhalla was with the cards I drafted a devastating tactic.

In the first draft I got both Loki cards that if I lost a battle allowed me to steal rage from the winner. Which was backed up by a clan upgrade that allowed me to place a warrior back into the area I had just been defeated in for free. I then had the quest that gave me points for having more than four warriors in Valhalla at the end of the round. The sea monster also joined my clan. Which was to prove handy.

In round two I got both of the Loki cards that allowed me to continue with the losing tactic, but gave me even more rage. I was also allowed to get the same quest again as the one I had in round one. But I added a ship upgrade that included the sea monster (it counted as a ship) that gave me points whenever a ship was destroyed. Add in a clan upgrade for double Ragnorak points. I was swimming in rage in the second round. Whilst my opponents had none. Some git (me) like the first round had been stealing it from them. 

Third round saw me lose my Loki card early on. But by then it was too late, the damage had been done. All I had to do was make sure I stayed in the zone for Ragnorak, complete the same quest again. Upgrade my clan with an Odin card that doubled completed quest scores, upgraded my points for destroyed ships, and I was golden.

The cards really fell for me in the drafting round. None of the others hate drafted! I did in round two. I took the second Loki card so the others couldn’t have it. I was surprised I was able to get those cards in the second round after the others saw how powerful they were in the first round. The whole combination though of the cards I had just fuelled each other. I got lucky. But it was a nice feeling to be this lucky for once.

I liked Blood Rage a lot. Most definitely want to play again. But won’t buy! I know my “got to have it all” gene would kick in, and I’d want the Kickstarter exclusive stuff too.

I agree with the comment Diego made after the game about Blood Rage being better than Inis (which we liked). But I added I still thought Scythe, and Kemet were above it. Now I just have to work out where Cry Havoc fits in the ordering. Oh an excuse to play that again 😉

We finished off the gaming with the liars dice inspired House of Borgia. Jonathan really did have no luck in this game. However Diego won by being sneakier and more manipulative than the rest of us. 

There is as you know only one way to finish a great evening of gaming. The consumption of unidentifiable meat products smothered in chilli sauce and “salad”. If I had been drinking the Thatchers from a horn cup, and eating this pile of meat, with my unkept beard, you’d almost think i could have been a portly Viking!

Another great start to the weekend.

Half Term FEG@WL

The week ended with a longer session than normal of our regular Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion. It was also a great start to the weekend.

Our gaming started off with (at long last) Mechs vs Minions

This game is still getting hype, it’s print runs selling out. And no wonder really £75 plus £5 shipping, its redonkulous value for money. The production value is out of the park. 100 minion minis, all with a wash paint job to bring out details. Four fully painted figures. Custom metal counters, thick cardboard. The list goes on. Oh and the game box is massive and heavy.

The game you may have guessed looks lovely.

We played the tutorial and first mission yesterday.

I liked the tutorial. It was similar to the approach taken by Krosmaster Arena. But better! Plus I believe the different missions will introduce new mission specific rules. You don’t even have had to read anything before hand, open up and just start playing. The tutorial is that good, fun and easy to follow.

Which brings me on to the three rule books we saw, the tutorial, mission one and reference book. All really well written, easy to flow, clear, accessible style. 

I like the use of mission envelops that you open when directed, and containing all you need for that mission, like extra cards etc.

On the first mission it was rather cool making use of the timer for drafting after a certain condition was met. That made sure things didn’t go all ap on which cards to draft. Although you could game it a little!

Really like the drafting, programming element. Taking damage, which can interfere with your programming is a great touch. Plus they put in repair and reorder mechanics. Which balances out the game nicely. 

Oh and being able to boost/power up your cards abilities. Now that is cool. 

We played this game for two hours, and it did not seem that long. The time just flew by.

Yeah this definitely lived up to the hype. It’s a very nice game. Can’t wait to attempt mission two.

After Mechs vs Minions it was nearly time for Diego arriving. So we squeezed in some games of Santorini. I didn’t win any of our three games. But still had a blast. 

I said it wouldn’t be long before Adrenaline was in the collection. It had arrived that morning. So Jonathan and I introduced Diego and Chris to the joys of a fps boardgame! We played the full eight skull game with final frenzy.

It’s just a great, light, fun boardgame. Still learning the weapons. But despite coming last again, I did pull off the kill of the game doing six points of damage to Diego to kill his character.

Oh and the promo chainsaw weapon card may or may not be on its way to me!

Jonathan showed me the new Pandemic the Cure expansions contents. He managed to get it at a more acceptable price of £30 but there is no way the contents (despite being custom dice, and some cards) is worth it’s rrp of £45. Jonathan was right when he said your paying for the Pandemic name. It’s almost like a tax.

A really great game session. Great games, great company, great beverages. Oh and T.I.M.E. Stories the next day. I’m super happy.

Gods vs Gods

The Friday that launches not just into the weekend but also half term always seems to have a more relaxed feel to it.

At The White Lion Hotel Diego, Jonathan and myself made it along to play games and get our weekend and half term off to a great start.

Our gaming started off with Inis. Inis had a lot of buzz, and the usual dash to get hold of it. 

Let’s deal with the main critism about the game. The dire box art. Which looks more like it came out of a just completed colouring book. Not the most attractive piece of box art.

Inis is quick to pick up. Within two rounds or so you get a good idea for the majority of the rules.

The card drafting works well. Being able to change your draft choices is a nice touch. A small limited pool of cards is also helpful. So you soon know all the cards and start making plans on what you’d like to draft to try and implement your plans.

The combat or clashes as they are called felt weird to start with. But we got used to it. It’s functional, maybe even thematic.

Having three win conditions means you are constantly having to be not just aware of your progress towards them, but also of your opponents.

The area majority mechanic worked well. I liked getting additional cards to play from being a chieftain of an area.

The Epic Tales cards add a nice element and additional option to the game.

I do like the unique look that the tiles have. Plus despite the misdirect of the box cover art, Inis actually looks good on the table.

Inis is a nice game. I’ll definitely play again. But Kemet, Scythe and Cry Havoc are easily better in my opinion. 

Our second game was Santorini. Every since getting Santorini it’s been burning a hole on my table. I’ve really wanted to get it to the table to play. 

They claim on the box it’s a 2-4 player game. But 4 player seems tacked on as a team mode. It’s really a 2 player abstract game. But I was curious how it would play as a 3 player game.

This is a super simple game to learn. Choose one of your two pieces, move it, and build. That’s basically it. Get one of your pieces to level 3 of a building and you win. Oh when going up, you can only go up one level at a time. Can’t make a move, you lose. 

But despite being so simple, there is a depth to the game. It’s almost chess like at times.

Ok I’m stating the obvious but Santorini looks beautiful. The whole 3D look of the buildings as you build, and board. Stunning. I can’t think of an abstract game I have or seen (although this is very limited knowledge) that looks this gorgeous.

The production value throughout the whole game is really high. Plus with this Kickstarter Zeus edition that I have the little extras are really nice.

We played two games of the basic rules. Then mixed it up playing with beginner God cards. Which add an extra layer to the game that makes it even better. The God cards give you a special power to use during the game or in case of the one Jonathan had win condition. These were a really fun addition.

There are a lot of God cards, thirty or so in the base game. Then with the Golden Fleece expansion even more, plus Hero cards. So there is a hell of a lot of replayability and variety to be had with this game.

We had a blast playing Santorini. Even when we lost we were laughing and smiling. I want to say this game is an absolute delight to play. This will be back to the table real quick. Instant classic for me.

Hey it was Friday, we played games, you know how this story ends. With poor diet decisions disguised as a stuffed naan wrap with questionable meat, salad and chilli sauce.

Trolololol Eric Summerer

Yesterday for work I got to go to the BETT Show at the Excel place in London with my colleague and friend Dale.

Basically under the disguise of being an education show aimed at teachers etc, it is in reality a hunt for loot on the bosses dime! Yep real life Munchkin. 

I’m pretty happy with my haul of loot. Free pens are great for bribing colleagues. Well technically I’m not bribing them I’m buying their souls very cheaply. I’m not sure they realise the real cost of my “generosity”.

Didn’t have to buy coffee during the day because we managed score free coffee from a stand. It was pretty good coffee. They actually had a hipster looking barista there making it to order. Unlike a lot of the others that did coffee that were using those pod coffee machines.

Dale got to witness how slow a striking king cobra snake is compared to me eating a chocolate covered mini ring donut from a chocolate fountain.

All in all a great first BETT for me, with many plans on spending my line managers budget in the next week or two.

It was seven when I finally arrived at The White Lion. Jonathan and Diego were two or three turns into The Streets of Commonville.

While trying to solve the crime, there were plenty of opportunities to have banter. Especially at the expense of Jonathan (who is fifty percent of the games design team!) 

Like Jonathan I too was a little rusty on the games rules. Last time I played the game as “Darren Consulting Game Tester” was in February of last year. While for Jonathan it was June of 2016. Which opened up the opportunity for lines like “did you not watch the Watch It Played video?” Or “Eric Lang knows how to play his games”.

 Jonathan tried to misdirected us from his Dr Kinky alter ego in the game. But in the end the evidence clearly pointed to Dr Kinky being the guilty party.


We managed to arrest Dr Kinky with a minute or two left. 

The idea came up of adding Eric Summerer as a promo character to the game. Maybe as a new cop to be played and have a matching suspect tile of Eric Summerer the dirty cop.

A great day out, a fun evening gaming. The weekend started well.

Friday Night Treachery and Bluffing

The start of Friday had so much promise with my car headlights illuminating the flecks of snow from the light snow flurries as I drove across the Fenland landscape in the dark.

The snow got heavier, but sadly wasn’t settling. I’d been looking forward to our first real snow since about 2010. Loki and Nico hadn’t seen snow. I was hoping to introduce them to snowballs.

Luckily our weekly Friday night gaming meet up at The White Lion is the perfect antidote to the mornings disappointment, and a great way to get the weekend started.

Our evening started off with a learning game of Dark Moon.

You look at the games rule book and think “wow this is a complicated game”. But in reality it’s pretty simple once you start playing. 

One of us was a traitor. But who was it? I knew it wasn’t me. Was it Jonathan or Diego? 

Ever since Jonathan and I first played Memoir ’44 it has been a running joke about his bad dice rolls.

That running joke was all the evidence I needed to accuse Jonathan of being the traitor. 

Dark Moon was ok with three players. But I would like to try with higher player counts. I think identifying the traitor will be harder, more accusations and votes being made. Overall more what the game is all about.

Although this game has a sci-fi theme. The theme is almost none existent. It could almost be any theme.

Jonathan thought the tasks and events were too easy to complete. But I’m not sure. It’s a nice touch that you can adjust the difficulty of the game for either side using one of the variants suggested in the rule book.

Oh yeah, Jonathan was the traitor and totally failed to stop us winning.

House of Borgia was back to the table completing a theme of betrayal, bluffing and lying for the evening.

It’s amazing what a big difference playing the game correctly makes! 

I enjoy the liars dice mechanic of this game. I really must get my copy of Perudo (which is the other name for Liars Dice) to the table.

Luckily for me I was the most “sneaky” and won the game. 

Do I have to tell you how we finished the evening of great gaming off? By celebrating with meat of unknown origin soaked in chilli source, some “salad”, all held together within a wrap. 

I’m looking forward to next weeks meet up. Finally Mechs vs Minions gets to the table.

Holy Water Batman!

Fridays wasn’t just Crackerjack for British kids on tv. Over on BBC2 it was tv shows like The Water Margin and Monkey also.

I loved those shows. Yes they were dubbed. But they had great stories that caught my imagination. The struggle between the rebels in Liang Shan Po against the corrupt officials. Or the moral tales and humour of Monkey protecting Tripitaka a monk on a spiritual quest to find some scrolls, aided also by Pigsy and Sandy, two guards from heaven punished by being changed to look like “monsters” and to help, if I remember correctly.

I look them up now and I’m surprised how few episodes there are of these two great shows. Time and fading memories seem to have made me think there were way more episodes.

Now grown up me has a new Friday routine. It’s Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion. Last night was the first one of the new year.

It was just Jonathan and myself last night.

After getting a pint of our usual beverage (Heck we have a usual! I think we are regulars now. How did that happen?), Jonathan and I had a two player game of the just arrived House of Borgia.

House of Borgia is Liars Dice with a twist or two.

I’m not going to say much about the game now. It works as a two player game. But this is a game that needs to be played with the higher end of players that the game supports, so 4 – 6 players I think. So once I’ve had a chance to play the game with that sort of player count I’ll go into the game in more depth.

I will say the production values of the game are amazing. Really high quality.

Our second and final game of the evening was another new arrival Batman the Animated Series Dice Game.

This is Zombie Dice with a Batman theme. Steve Jackson games have gone the AEG Love Letter route here. Take a classic, great, fun game, tweak a rule or two but keep what made the original so much fun.

This version is limited in that it is capped at a maximum of four players. That’s thanks to its first change to the classic Zombie Dice formula. Players choose randomly one of the four villain tokens at the start. So you are playing as a Batman villain in this game. Your villain has a special ability. I had the riddler that allowed me to roll four dice at the start of my turn and a reroll them if they were all alarms. Jonathan had Pioson Ivy who could ignore one blue Batman symbol on a dice. You get the idea.

There are ten great looking dice (not thirteen as in Zombie Dice), and you play to thirty points not thirteen. Plus there is a rule tweak to what happens when you can’t draw any more dice.

I really liked these additions to the core game. They improve the game, while not getting in the way or over complicating things. The designers behind Dalek Dice should take note.

This could replace Zombie Dice as a light filer game for smaller groups for me.

I hope that Steve Jackson games have promo characters to release for this game. I’d get them. I’m going to approach AEG to see if I can buy 120+ of the Love Letter Batman tokens to use with this game to track scores. Now that would be a great pimp out for this game.

Having finished our pints of Thatchers by the end of Batman the Animated Series Dice Game, it was time to return back to real life, pick up a kebab, and deal with reality once more. 

Yes it had been a shorter session this time. But sometimes life dictates that is the case. Still a great evening though.

Christmas Meetup #2

Last night saw our second Fenland Gamers Meetup of the holiday season.

Attending this one we had Jonathan’s brother and his wife (or Debbie’s mum and dad as they are also known) who were visiting from Malta, join us. They were “enjoying” our seasonal cold snap of the past week. Jo made a rare guest appearance, while Debbie’s bo Nath joined Debbie in attending. Which meant Jeff and myself were the only none Warren family folks there. 

The lovely large wooden table at The White Lion was easily big enough to accommodate use splitting into two play groups.

So Jonathan, Jo and mum and dad split off to play Imhotep. While the rest of us holed up in our castle to fight off the attacking horde of monsters in Castle Panic.

We were playing just the classic base game of Castle Panic, despite me having the expansions. Debbie and Nath hadn’t played it before, Geoff had (?), whilst this would be my second game. Besides adding in the expansions would require some fiddling around intergrating them.

I like Castle Panic. Well I must do if it’s still in my collection after playing it. Plus I bought the expansions for it. Which I wouldn’t do if I didn’t like the game.

It is a nice co-op game, brutal, but nice! The publisher/designer really thought about the game adding in variants, and ways to adjust the difficulty level up and down.

And although it’s a co-op, like Marvel Legendary if you all win by beating the game there is also a winner! In Castle Panic the number of monsters you kill are totalled up and the highest score is the “Master Slayer”.

We got over run and lost. But I don’t think we did that bad, we had nine monster tiles left in the bag. Granted two of those tiles were boss monsters. But still we were close to success I think. It was visible on the horizon. 

In a break from the rules, we did total up points for everyone, despite losing. Our Master Slayer was Jeff. 

After all that fighting it was time to head off to the nearest inn, and regale each other with stories of our heroic deeds over flagons of mead in Braggart Second Edition.

This was just being received by Kickstarter backers just before Christmas. Well I’m assuming that because John at The Hobbit Hole (my FLGS) had just got his box of the game that made up his store level pledge.

I have to say when John opened the box and saw what was inside, I swear he wet himself in excitement. He’s really a big fan of the game.

Yeah I bit and asked him about the game. Initially I wasn’t sold on it. Wait story telling I thought, I’ve got to make up stories? I have StoryCubes for that. Then John opened a game up, showed me the cards and how the stories are created and I was sold on the game.


This game is good fun. We ended up playing it twice. 

It has a little take that in it. There is hand management, simple drafting. Quick to learn. We learnt from the rules sheet, within a couple of turns had it learnt. 

I thought the game would take ages to play based on the size of the deck. But we got through that deck a lot quicker than I thought we would.

As you can see from the above photo some of the stories you come up with can be funny. And the interaction with the liar cards just adds to this.

Nope this is a fun lightish game, replaces Fluxx for me I think. And that’s despite Jeff winning both games.

Our final game of the evening was King of Tokyo. 

While we were duking it out for control of Tokyo. The other group were on their second game of Pandemic. At one point we over heard them say “go to Tokyo”. We chipped in “no don’t go to Tokyo! It’s a mess.”

Unusually for games I’ve played Jeff won with a points win. Usually the games have ended with a single monster standing on top of the corpses of their defeated opponents. 

We also only had one player eliminated. That player was Nath and it was Debbie that finished him off!

Ok by the time Jeff got his “boring” victory, none of us had lots of health left. It could have been my victory due to a knock out if I’d have gotten another go. But hey that’s the way the dice roll.

A really great evenings gaming. Let’s do it again next year!