Category Archives: FEG@WL

Micro Update 12/8/17

This is just a short and sweet post. “Thank god” I hear you say, after that big sigh of relief.

Thursday saw the “band of brothers” for want of a better name to call our band of happy go lucky adventurers, complete the first scenario/mission of the Descent app. 

We are still making the odd rule/play mistake but who cares? Learning as we go!

Naturally we spent our hard earned gold and experience in the nearby town. I got a better axe, and leather armour for my berserker dwarf. 

Then before going out separate ways selected to do a side quest, which will be saving some spiders! Found the tiles needed so we can jump straight in at the start of our next session.

Last night saw Edmund and myself playing Tiny Epic Quest. Seemed to get more done in the five rounds this time. I completed three quests, killed three goblins, got my legendary sword, and got to level 6 with my magic. But still I lost by two points to Edmund. So two plays and two loses. Yet I still love the game and had a great time.

Today we had the second league play event for our Amonkhet Magic the Gathering League. Which was once again well attended, and everyone had a good time. Even I did despite winning only two games out of the seven I played. I hope I do better at Destiny when Dale and I attend our first store event in September. 

Our next league play is the 9/9/17. But we are going to try and get a mid week game in before then.

Well I hope you enjoyed this short round up of my gaming over the last day or so. Normal long winded ramblings will resume in the next post I’m sure.

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. 

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.

Fenland Gamers Heavy Board Game Challenge: Scythe Game 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Penguins and Mutants

Last night an unadvertised session at the White Lion took place. I hadn’t got round to setting an event up on the Facebook page for it. Only two people yesterday morning asked if anything was going on. So arrangements were made to play some games.

Earlier in the day Dale and I had successfully avoided a crappy Summer by getting our students work and our marking passed by an external verifier from the awarding body we were using. Which was my excuse for a nice cold pint of Thatchers. I was also happy how my eHan/eRay deck was holding up against Dales eMaz/ePoe deck. I’ll do a post soon with the initial deck list and my thoughts about it. 

Back to last night and the games I played. Once Edmund had arrived I introduced him to 51st State Master Set with the new expansion Scavengers (which I bought at the expo).

Scavengers plays with the discard pile, so now each player has a personal discard pile. During lookup the discarded card goes into the first players discard pile. You now due to card abilities have the chance to take the top card from an opponents discard pile. There is also more to stuff there to do with ruins but we didn’t really hit any of those cards. A third connections deck has been added also.

I like 51st State, it works well with 2 players. But unless you play it a lot you won’t see all the cards. So with the base game cards plus the expansion I think that’s a 120 cards roughly for the common deck. So we were not going to see everything this expansion had to offer.

The future history books will see that my post apocalyptic group of survivors were the stronger. 

Our final game was one that had been on my radar for a long time, Hey That’s My Fish. Every time I visited my FLGS The Hobbit Hole and saw the box on display. I’d be curious but never pulling the trigger and buying it. But then a friend I was selling Inis to was planning on selling his copy at the bring n buy at the expo. Saw it was in the original small square box that I preferred to the current rectangle box. So I bought it from him.

It’s a very light game. Plays quickly. Well our 2 player game of it did. But it had something Barenpark doesn’t (apart from being fun) player interaction. You are trying to get the high value fish, while trying to cut off/isolate your opponent. 

I lost both games (Edmunds revenge for 51st State) but enjoyed both games.

A great evenings gaming. 

Kung Fu Art School in a Cave

Last night I was prepared! I had a bag of two player games with me, plus a couple that played up to four but also played well at two. But that was assuming I wasn’t going to be the only person turning up.

Luckily Edmund came along to prevent me from looking like Billy No Mates. 

While waiting for Edmund to arrive I had a little mystery sitting in my inbox. What had Games Lore posted to me? I hadn’t ordered anything from them recently, had I pre-ordered something and forgotten about it? I didn’t think I had. I am less than a year from hitting fifty. So I’m getting old, stuff like memory is failing. The email from ParcelForce contained no clue as to what it was Games Lore were sending me. A bit further down the page I could see an email from the UK shipping partner for Xia: Legends of a Drift System. Finally they were dispatching my copy of the Kickstarter (yeah I hadn’t got lucky the other day). Minutes of puzzling, and searching back through corrupted memories passed. Wait didn’t the UK shipping partner say in the last Kickstarter update they’d be using ParcelForce? I looked at the courier shipping reference in the email. Then went to the ParcelForce email. The parcel from Games Lore had the same reference! Games Lore and the UK shipping partner were the same company! I’m sure they have legit tax avoidance reasons for two separate company names. But Xia is on its way. Oh yes looking forward to it sitting in my pile of shame, waiting to be played and gathering dust. 

Our evening of two player fun started off with the new arrival of Caverna: Cave vs Cave. As a learning game it went fairly well.  Only one real misplay which we picked up on the third round, and it didn’t really affect things too much. Just our caves were slightly less impressive than they could have been.

I thought Edmund was going to run away with the win. But it ended up being closer than I had expected. 

I liked this two player version of Caverna. We know my introductory games of both Caverna and Agricola were some what wanting, and not enjoyable experiences. So it’s surprising I like the two player version of Agricola, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and now Caverna: Cave vs Cave.

We followed up our cave building with some martial arts practice in Onitama. We played with the new expansion Sensei’s Path. Which is just more movement cards. The expansion fits inside the main box with the original cards. And we have even more variety and replayability. It’s not a must have expansion, but definitely one to get after playing the game a lot and starting to get bored with the original cards.

So while Edmund kicked my butt at this game also, I consumed a lovely medium rare steak. I had decided to celebrate a good appraisal at work with meat of a higher quality than my usual Friday night gaming fare. Plus it was payday and I hadn’t had a steak in a long while.

After three games of Onitama, the score was 2-1 to Edmund. 

It was time to take Edmund from the floor of the dojo to the peaceful serene art studio to learn to paint. Our next and final game was Kanagawa.

Edmund rocked the objective tiles. But sadly only managed to get two points on his painting and studio. Which is where I scored a lot of points, and grabbed the win.

It really was great having a chance to get some two player games to the table. They don’t get played nearly as often as they should. So thank you Edmund for coming along and not totally wiping the floor with me. 

FEG@WL: Art school 

Thanks to traffic or some other event (superheroes fighting the latest villain/alien invasion) Chris and his copy of Mansions of Madness Second Edition got held up in Peterborough. Which meant the plans for the evening were thrown in to chaos!

Luckily on my way out of the house I grabbed Kanagawa. I’d grabbed it on the off chance that it might get to the table as a wind down from taking on the horrors of the Mansions of Madness.

I’d only recently bought Kanagawa at this years expo. It wasn’t a planned purchase at  the show. More a “oh Kanagawa, that’s a reasonable price, I’ll get it.”

This game is frickin beautiful. Just look at the box art (above). The little paint pots are cute and help strengthen the theme of the game. Even the simplicity of the Master and apprentice counters are beautiful. And the card art, amazing and in the same style as the box cover. Which I love. 

This game screams theme. 

Super high quality components. I love the bamboo play mat. 

I like the dual use cards. If you are able to select landscapes in your studio that match the ones required to paint the picture you can add it to your painting. Or you can add it your studio instead to improve your skills. 

But you are making choices all the time in this game. When to take the cards in a row. When to take one of the objective tiles. And how you are going to use the cards you drafted. The drafting has an element of push your luck to it. As does the claiming of objective tiles. Decide not to take one hoping to get a higher value one instead, means you can’t go back to claim the one passed up. But you run the risk that some-one else will grab the one you are aiming for before you can claim it. Plus you can only claim one objective from each colour group of objectives.

The only draw back is the sliding of cards under each other. Sometimes they go easily. But most of the time they don’t. 

It’s not a heavy game. But there is enough to keep things interesting. I like this game a lot.

The history books will show Diego and I won a game each and drew a game.

We’ll attempt to get Mansions to the table again next week (hopefully)

FEG@WL Post Expo Meet Up ’17

Last nights weekly meet up was our first after this years expo, and our first chance to play our spoils from said expo.

Having said that I didn’t take anything with me to potentially play. When I got home from work for my version of a Formula 1 pit stop before going to the meet up, my Mum (who lives next door) dropped a bombshell! Earlier in the day she’d fallen and “damaged” her wrist/arm in the fall. She needs to get it seen too but other circumstances prevented that. There was nothing we could do about it then. Well my idea to amputate was poo poo’d on. You’d that my internet doctors certificate was fake or something. We’d have to get it sorted on Saturday. 

So I had no games with me, and it turned out neither did Jonathan. 

Luckily Chris had bought a couple of games from his spoils with him. Out of the two on offer (I can’t remember what the other one was but we had played/owned it!)  we chose Orleans.

This game cries out for an insert. There are lots of cardboard chits for this game. But still not as many as A Feast For Odin.

Chris read the rules out, 18 rounds, 7 phases. WTF this is sounding over complicated and long. But in reality it’s the opposite. It’s fairly quick, and all those phases are in reality very quick and simple.

I like the bag building element. It’s very Dice Masters like. Which when teamed up with the action selection to do stuff and recruit new workers is very enjoyable. Allocate workers to an action, take action and place workers used and any new recruits into the bag ready to be drawn at random at the start of the next round. 

Managing the bag is fun. And that’s the bit I find reminds me of Dice Masters. Trying to control what’s in there, and improving your odds of drawing the specific workers you draw. To that extent preloading actions partially or fully aids in doing this. 

Having 18 event cards that also act as the round counters is a great idea. The event cards work really well because they can mean you have to take a particular action that turn to get the resource needed to complete it or face a punishment.

Also having the ability to add tiles to you player board that give you unique actions that only you can take adds to the replayability and your tactics. I got a level 2 tile called the school that allowed me to use scholars as wilds.

Having multiple scoring routes, sources of bonuses I liked. Once again variety and replayability.

Graphically the game is ok. It’s not an ugly game. But you wouldn’t say it’s a stunning game either. 

There is a lot of depth in this game. And I have to say I love it. This will be the third game I’m going to have to steal off Chris when he’s not looking. Sorry borrow on a semi permanent basis.

After Chris won. I had to shoot off home. What with mum and her “injury”. 

But a great evenings gaming.

Dice Fight at The White Lion Corral!

Getting home from work last night was a flippin nightmare once I hit March. Hit a standstill near Tesco, so cut across to the station to take the back roads to Friday Bridge. But nope traffick was bad that way too. Not sure what was getting into everyone. Was the hot weather and it being the Friday of a bank holiday weekend the cause? 

In a hot and flustered and very rushed state I threw some games into a bag. I wasn’t sure if Jonathan would be there so in went some two player games. But I decided also as a last second decision to also throw in one or two games that played more.

Jonathan was waiting for me at The White Lion, with Dice Town. A game he had recently bought off a Facebook trading/selling page. But after playing with his wife, she’d decided she didn’t like it. Which suited me. It had been on my wish list for a long time. I’d missed out on this copy by a minute or two to Jonathan. So I wasn’t upset because I knew I’d get to try it. But then I was given the chance to buy it.

Jonathan had informed me that Diego and Chris were also attending. A chance to play my new purchase. Plus Jonathan could teach the game as he already knew the rules!

So our first game of the evening was Dice Town.

I’ll come right out and say it I enjoyed Dice Town.

I liked the dice rolling using the little cups, and selecting one dice at a time to save and build your hand with, then rolling the remaining dice. With the ability to save more dice, reroll, or not take any dice, but at a cost. A monetary cost. Which can be limiting if you run out of money and unable to get anymore.

There is some take that, mainly in taking cards off other players. But also a chance to bribe the sheriff to persuade them to chose you in a draw for a bonus. 

After the game I asked Jonathan how it compared playing as a four player game against a two player game. To which he responded it was better. It had struck me as not being a two player game. The more the better for this game I think. More competition for the bonuses. 

Oh Chris won. 

I think I’m getting a nice collection of dice based games now. The students will love Dice Town. 

Our second game was Sagrada. Which Jonathan somehow won. This is still a charming puzzle game, which looks beautiful.

The final game of the evening was Don’t Mess With Cthulhu. A new arrival that once again has been bought to be played by my students. I’d heard about it on the latest Rolling Dice and Taking Names podcast. It sounded interesting, and apparently played well with four players. So it was great that I could learn the game with friends before introducing it to students.

There was some confusion at first. But the game is quick enough that an initial play can be done to clear up that confusion. Which our first play did.

For a hidden role game that plays quickly, it wasn’t bad with four players. I like the four round limit on play. It keeps the play time short. Redistributing the remaining cards at the start of each round is a nice touch. I can see how the success of the game could be down to who you play with. Especially when it comes down to selecting a card to reveal and the discussion between players over whether that is the correct card to reveal.

We finished the evening with some chit chat. Before heading off for questionable meat and chips.

A great evening of gaming.

FEG@WL 19May17

Friday hits once more. Earlier in the day Dale kindly had a learning from the rule book game of Blood Bowl Team Manager (BBTM) with me. A game that he beat me at. Which is ok, I beat him twice at 7 Wonders Duel the previous day.

I’d been wanting to get BBTM ever since it made its way in to my collection many many moons ago now. Sadly if you wanted to buy it for your collection now you will have to pay the now obligatory stupid prices for it. Thanks FFG and Games Workshop. Why couldn’t you try and make your relationship work? Think of the gamers! Think of the gamers! Yeah thanks to their failed relationship BBTM along with the expansions are never ever going to be reprinted (well Games Workshop possibly could I suppose, but if they did you’d probably have to cut the tree down, make pulp etc to produce your own cards for the game.) Luckily while both companies are trying to prove to each other they are doing fine and have moved on, I managed to get the Sudden Death expansion for a normal price. But I’ve not managed to find a good price for the other expansion Foul Play.

I really enjoyed this area control card game. As a two player game it worked. You are managing your hand, hopefully drafting more players (cards) or even abilities that you can use during play. Dale had one upgrade that gave him two points when he lost.

I would like to try the game with the higher player counts. I think it would be more chaotic, especially when playing for trophies.

Jonathan was going to arrive a little late, so Charlie, Chris, Edmund and myself played a game of Love Letter Batman. Edmund rushed away with an early lead. But Charlie managed to come back and grab the victory. Luckily Chris and I managed to at least get a point to our names so we weren’t completely embarrassed.

With Jonathan joining us it was time to decide what to play. Chris’s Zombicide Black Plague was out. Fantasy has no place what so ever in a zombie apocalypse. The zombie apocalypse is shopping malls, prisons, tower blocks, underground bunkers. Not bloody dungeon and dragons! Yeah that’s in bold for you Chris and CMoN. It’s WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

In a moment of pity we relented and decided we’d play Terraforming Mars. A game Jonathan had wanted to play. 

So we all tried to Terraform Mars. We didn’t use the drafting option for cards. Which would have increased the play time. But it might have improved my chances of getting cards I needed to play others in my hand. I needed science symbols but wasn’t seeing them.

But still it was fun with the higher player count. Chris went on to win the game. 

If a Friday Evening Gaming starts with bubbles on the top of my grown up beverage, then it finishes with the suspicious meat. I’d avoid this part of the evening since I had that gall stone attack. But you only live once. It was time to taste that oh so so greasy meat drowned in chilli!

Well I’m writing this post the next morning. So I survived that wreckless decision at the end of the evening. I rolled the dice and I won!