Category Archives: FEG@WL

Men and Women of UNCLE

Can you guess what last night was?

Yep it was FEG@WL or the long winded version Friday Evening Gaming At The White Lion! Our weekly gaming meet up at the Fenland Gamers.

Our gaming session now clashes with Steak night at The White Lion. So sadly that lovely big table we played on is now unavailable. But as usual The White Lion has generously allowed us to use their function room.

I think you will agree there is a little room for growth in numbers. 

We are very grateful to The White Lion for allowing us to use the facilities they have for free. It allows us to continue to run the weekly session as free to attend events. Which is part of the clubs DNA. Both Jonathan and I both really believe that you shouldn’t have to pay to play games, “free at the point of play” as Jonathan likes to say (I think that’s his words more or less). It’s an expensive enough hobby as it is buying the games.

There are other reasons as to why we don’t like to charge but you don’t want to waste valuable time hearing a diatribe from me on gaming clubs.

Our hosts provide us with great facilities, great beverages, it has free parking, and now great food if we want it.

Oh yes I had to sample the bannoffee pie they had on the menu. It was really good. The rest of the menu looked very tempting too, Debbie the manager showed us photos of the dishes. The only draw back is I’d just want like the ribs, plus the special plater and the wings. I’d be in a meat coma in no time! 

But word of warning to club members we will be arranging some sort of food thing after a session real soon. 

Right on to the real reason you are here… your bored with life, have nothing better to do and want to read my poorly put together thoughts on games.

We played one game last night and that was a learning game of the recently arrived Covert. A game I had bought second hand at a really good price off one of the Facebook boardgame trading groups.

I should point out, and I don’t think when people read that we played a learning game, it is exactly that. We haven’t even read the rules, or at best managed to skim read them before hand. Yes not ideal, and for some this is a major sin. But we have busy lives, and sometimes it is easier this way!

So after setting up, going through the rules we started playing Covert.

I think the theme comes across really well in this game, from the components, graphic design, and the mechanics. They just combined well to bring out the theme.

You have elements of hidden information where players are keeping their code cards, missions, operation tokens and ‘activity’ cards (can’t remember the exact name). Then you have open information,such as your dice, character, completed missions and code cards.

And this works really well especially the dice. The first phase of a ’round’ starts with everyone rolling their dice, and taking it in turns to allocate them to actions. Knowing the other players dice allows you to potentially block another player on an action. 

You also during this phase get the chance to grab first player advantage but doing so means you will have to forgo at least one action to do so. 

But being first means you get first attempt at code breaking, which is the next phase. And you may really need to be first to make sure you decode your card and get that bit of equipment you badly need. “Oh no”, did they just play an operation token to steal first player spot for code breaking? !!! 

Or it might be you really need to be first taking actions in the third phase so you get that mission card you really wanted.

The operation tokens were cool. And provided one way to mitigate poor dice rolls, or other cool effects like moving agents three spaces. But it costs you a dice in the allocation phase to get one, and they are random.

If I’d drawn the right one in the last round of our game Jonathan may not have won! 

Those ‘activity’ cards. Love them, multiple use. Act as equipment, can be used to fly an agent to the city named. Or finally can be used for its ability. The abilities are the same as the operation tokens as far as I can tell. So another way to mitigate poor dice rolls, and other cool powers. 

Completing missions possibly depending on the mission gives you not only points but a permanent resource that can be used to complete other missions. 

There is a lot to like about this game. It’s not super heavy. But it’s fun. At one point Debbie thought our game was never going to finish. But Jonathan and I both completed the majority of our missions in the last three rounds, we both had rounds where we completed two or three missions in a round.

It was a quick game to pick up, although Debbie didn’t grok it until near the end. We had the majority of the game down easily by end of turn two. Then it was just clarifying the odd point or symbol.

A great fun game, Jonathan was James Bond in the end for the record.

So that was our only game for the evening. 

Great company, great beverages and food, and a great game. What more do you need to end the week, and start the weekend?

FEG@WL 4Nov16

It’s Friday, it’s five to five and it’s Crackerjack! Oh no wait it’s six and it’s Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion.

I love starting my weekends this way. Gathered with old friends and making new ones, playing great games, enjoying great beverages, and finishing the evening off with “meat by-products” in a naan with salad and chilli sauce from one of the finest cut-my-own-throat dibbler wanna-be’s in Wisbech. 

Last night was no different. Lucia and Will joined us for the first time. And it was great meeting them. Despite Lucia winning our game of Love Letter Batman , and me not getting a single point. 

It’s one of the things I love about Fenland Gamers as a club. It’s not about winning (ok it might be) but about having a good time. It’s not an uber competitive must win at all costs, throw a temper tantrum if you don’t win. 

We have friendly banter, a laugh and joke about losing, and making sure I finish higher than Jonathan. 

Our second game of the evening was a first time for all of us but Jonathan. But he hadn’t played it for a long while. So it was kinda a level playing ground.

Oh the game Finca. This apparently according to Jonathan is a hard to get game now days. Well unless as Rocket argues I want it more than him, and I bribe one of his kids to “relocate” the game to my collection for me.

It’s a nice game. It makes great use of a rondel disguised as the sails of a windmill or finca as it is called in the game, to collect resources (fruits) and delivery tokens (donkeys) to complete various orders around this island you are on to villagers.

You get four one off use power ups that if not used give you points for each one left. But sometimes you want that power up to give you that little tactical boost.

On each of the zones/areas on the board are a small pile of orders to complete. Clear six(?) of these piles from around the island and the game ends and it’s down to adding the points up. In the meantime when a pile has been completed, a bonus token is awarded to the player with the majority of the indicated fruit type on the token on their completed.

History and my game play tracking app will record I lost, while Will won.

Our final game of the evening was a game that really does not get enough love Bohemian Villages. Jonathan and I love this game. It’s easy to teach and quick to learn. A blast to play. 

Jonathan has the new promo mini expansion from the Brettspiel Advent Calendar 2016. This basically adds three new tokens to the game that you can claim one of if you score thirteen or more on your dice roll. One token is a one off use that anables you to change two dice to a side of your choice. The other two give permanent abilities that either allow you to add one to a dice value or subtract one from a dice value.

I went for the add one to a dice value early on. I found that very useful through out the game. Jonathan got both of the permanent tokens. Which we both agreed at the end was over kill, you only really need one of them. 

But this promo is a nice little addition to the game. It gives you another thing you can do with your dice. I think I’d always play with it (if I had it).

Somehow I had a mare this game and ended up last again! With Jonathan who had been trailing all game taking the victory! 

So another Friday without a win! But despite that I had a blast. That journey to last place each time was fun. 

After a little gaming geek type chat, it was off to binge on “meat by-products” in naan, to bring a great evening to an end.

FEG@WL Extended Edition! 

With half term coming to an end Fenland Gamers celebrated it with an extended Friday evenings gaming session. 

Our extended session started off with Jeff, Jonathan and myself playing Piece o’ cake. Which is no longer in print. However it is coming out again rethemed around pizza. 

This really simple “I split, you choose” mechanic based game is really deceptive. 

The splitting the cake into enough pieces for each player can be really really tough. You are trying to split it so you get left with something of use for yourself, whilst tempting the others with pieces that won’t score them too many points or give them an advantage. 

Then again choosing which slice to take can be just as tough a decision.

No despite its apparent simplicity this is a nice quick filler game. Don’t be surprised to see the pizza version in my collection at some point in the future.

The history books recorded that Jonathan won the game.

Our second game of the evening was Roll for the Galaxy

Yep I know what you are thinking, “wtf how did you get Jonathan to play a sci-fi themed game?” 

Well like BA in the A-Team and getting BA in the air, we had to use copious amounts of drugs, brainwashing and hire some of the best hostage negotiators to get Jonathan at the table to play this game!

And you know what? Jonathan enjoyed the game. Yeah I know. I have to respect Jonathan a lot. Despite knowing the theme was one he didn’t like, he still gave it a shot. 

Our game will have the history books recording a victory for Jeff. However that was down to a split decision by the judges because we tied on the victory points. But his number of credits and dice in his cup broke the tie.

Next up to the table was Splendor, with the official playmat being used. 

That playmat may seem expensive. But it is a really nice mat. It feels quality, thicker than the playmats you get for the likes of Magic etc. Plus there are some nice setup prompts reminding you the correct number of gems to use Baer on players , and the same for patron tiles.

After taking an early lead and getting the first patron I wasn’t prepared for Jeff’s engine kicking in and taking him to the victory. Jonathan and I tied for last place.
We were joined by Diego and Les, with no sign of Debbie. So Ticket to Ride hit the table. 

I was totally and utterly shit at the game this time. I got blocked out of completing one of my two starting tickets. And it tanked from their. 

Jeff once more walked away with the victory. Are you getting a theme here with the games we played?

Luckily I managed to avoid any “banter” for being last.

After establishing that Debbie had not died from her cold and turned into a zombie, Bohemian Villages hit the table.

Well I think you can guess who won the game. But it was fun played my with five players. And even more fun with Jonathan coming in last with a really low score! Yes some friendly banter was had.

Our final game of the evening was the same game that started the evening.

Long story short Jeff won this too.

This was a great extended gaming session. 

Finally I don’t think we have enough pictures of me. So here are some taken by Jonathan during the evening of fun!

Achtung Baby!

It’s been a very quiet week from me on here and that’s been down to “manflu” taking me out for most of the week.

Luckily after going through the worst patch Wednesday night and Thursday, things started to improve. The downside of the bad patch being having to miss a first playthrough of Escape from Colditz that Jonathan and I had just got through the post.

So Friday was once again on us, I was feeling much better, not great, but functioning. So FEG@WL was a go.

So with Jonathan putting on his German prison guard hat, Deigo, Les and myself formed an orderly line in the middle of the courtyard to plan our Escape from Colditz.

Opening the box, this game oozes theme, and I just love the production quality of the game. A lovely touch was the separate history booklet that was included. Rightly so much thicker than the rule book.

We played with the new “updated/modified” rules of this 75th Anniversary edition. I will say the rules aren’t that clear. Ideally they should have reworked this making them easier to follow. Looking at them for a first time I found them a little difficult to follow.

All I can say is we had a blast playing this game. It really was a lot of fun. 

Yes there is that competitive element on the prisoner side with the first getting two prisoners out being the winner. But you also have a collaboration side as well.

In the early game I was deliberately taking out guards to give my fellow escapees a window of opportunity to move around without threat. I also hit on the idea of it getting the inner solitary confinement cells full so I’d get placed in the outer one and need less items to escape one let out!

We would be swapping escape equipment making sure Jonathan had no idea of who had what. That way we kept him guessing how we would be trying to get out.

We’d even be giving equipment to aid escape when a run for freedom was being made.

We’d make dummy runs to try and distract Jonathan.

There was one moment on my escape when Jonathan really should have arrested my prisoner instead of blocking me. But I’d tried putting doubt in his head, suggesting he’d missed some-one else’s plan. I couldn’t believe it when he blocked me, Jonathan thought he was blocking my escape. Which he hadn’t I just went out the other way open to me. The other way he’d missed. The other way to freedom!

I wasn’t the first to escape. That honour fell to Les. We had a dual escape going on, the other escapee being Deigo. This was presenting Jonathan with some hard decisions to make. We liked watching him squirm!

I was getting very few opportunity cards to help my escape because I was doing my usual rolling high! While Les was pulling loads of them.

We did find that maybe the rule about getting of solitary was maybe a little broken. The rules state you needed to roll a double to get out. So we found there were sometimes several turns where you could do nothing while you waited to roll that double to get some-one out, or draw an opportunity card that got a pow out. We may house rule this next time to even things out.

I’d highly recommend this blast from the past, if you can get a copy (Esdevium had sold out before they did their weekly update sheet!!) I will warn you it’s a long game. We cut our game short because of time, we’d taken 30 turns approximately in 2 hours. So you may want to pencil in an afternoon playing this.

This was a really fun evening of gaming. A great way to start half term.

FEG@WL 14Oct16

A bit like Crackerjack when I was growing up, it was Friday, it was 6pm, it was time for FEG@WG. Not quite as snappy or as popular as Crackerjack, and also not at five to five!

The first game of the evening for the four amigos that had assembled to play games was Splendor.

Deigo crushed this game. An easy win he put down to the many defeats he’d suffered at the hands of his partner. 

Earlier in the day the postman had delivered the playmat for Tiny Epic Western. So naturally I wanted to take the mat out for a spin.

So with our Mexican stand off set up on the playmat it was time to admire it.

This is a massive playmat. 

But a lovely one, that not only really captures the poker element of the game in its colouring trying to evoke the baize of a poker table. It actually captures the feel with a baize like feel! What a great use of texture.

Gamelyn games make some really nice playmats for their Tiny Epic games. However they do take the games away from the Tiny ethos. 

In our Mexican stand off Ben was quickest on the draw and won. 

A great evening gaming once again! Some nice banter, great company. All finished off with the now traditional dodgy meat fest.

FEG@WL last day of September 2016

It’s Friday, it’s been a long, hard week. Only way to start the weekend, and blow away that built up stress from the week then has to be play some games with great company and an ice cold beverage.

Diego, Jonathan and I were gathered at the White Lion to do just that. 

Our first game of the evening was The Great Heartland Hauling Co.

We played with one of the alternate three player layouts and the truck stops expansion.

I made an instant dash to the GPS truck stop to buy that and gain the ability to move diagonally once per turn. However that left me with no ability to move and buy goods to trade. Which meant I was stuck at the starting point for three turns until I was able to draw fuel cards!

It was that bit of rashness I think that gave the advantage to Diego. Who went on to get the win. Although I came second, I was happy because I’d managed to sell everything I was transporting. So I didn’t get any negative points.

Jonathan had a complete disaster of a game. His truck must have been robbed of its tires at a truck stop and left on cinder blocks.

Our next game was Grifters. Oh this was a game of frustration for both Jonathan and me.

Jonathan just wasn’t getting the specialist cards to do much. While Diego was buying job cards just before I was about to, or blocked a plan I was going execute with a specialist action. Like grab the Blackmailer card off the top of discard pile but putting utter junk on top of it on his go.

As you can guess Diego romped home to the win.

Our final game of the evening was a new one to Diego and me. It was Skyline, a light dice game where you are building skyscrapers.

This has a push your luck element on the dice roles similar to Age of War and Elder Sign. Where if you want to reroll the dice you lose one if you are unable to use at least one.

Diego triggered the end game by claiming the 36 point building tile. I got lucky and was able to score a final 16 point building, while Jonathan was not able to score any big points to boost his score.

I have to admit that in this final go I was only looking at getting a higher score than Jonathan. I had assumed Diego had the win sewn up. So imagine my surprise when we totalled the points I had won by a single point.

Somehow I’d broken Diego’s amazing winning streak!

Skyline is a pleasant quick filler game. I enjoyed it.

Well you know how the evening ended after the games. We celebrated our wins and losses by consuming dodgy meat wrapped in naan, with salad (the token attempt to make it healthy, and ease the feelings of guilt) and some chilli sauce.

Tomorrow we attempt to usurp Jeff from his Iron Throne when we play A Game of Thrones the Board Game.

Totally schooled

We are totally loving our new location for our Friday night gaming sessions. The White Lion are fantastic hosts, provide fantastic facilities, great beverages, what more could you want?

Last night Debbie, Jonathan, and Diego provided that last element needed for our great new location to play games, great company.

During the week we had become aware of an injury to Debbie. Apparently due to a hair brain stunt she did (going for the world record for possum juggling). Debbie had fractured a finger. A cunning plan was hatched to take advantage of this by playing manual dexterity games such as Flick ‘Em Up, Pitch Car or Ice Cool (or whatever that new game is called). Sadly there was a flaw in this cunning plan. Jonathan and I didn’t own any of these games.

I don’t know what Diego made of this banter at Debbie’s expense. This was the first time I’d met him. Although Debbie and Jonathan had met Diego before at a previous Fenland Gamers monthly meetup. Maybe he thought I was a bit of a dick. Not an inaccurate conclusion to arrive at.

Earlier in the week Jonathan and I, who were the only ones at the time going, decided to choose which games we were going to play. So between us we had decided on Saloon Tycoon, Guilds of London, and Five Tribes.

So our first game of the evening was Saloon Tycoon. 

Considering Diego hadn’t played the game before and had only read the rule book that morning, his victory was just totally awesome. Now if I said Diego crushed us, I’d be doing him a disservice. He destroyed us. We weren’t even close.

I took second place, while Jonathan managed to steal last place after a late surge in points from Debbie. Who had been hanging way way back on the score track for all of the game. That late surge almost got her second place. But I managed to hold on by four points.

This was the first time we played the game with the max player count. And it still played well. 

Debbie made some excuse about having to go see her boyfriend, and made a fast exit.

Still there were three of us. And Jonathan and I both had our copies of Thiefs Market with us. So we decided to play a game of it, and then go get the end of evening celebratory kebab.

Wow did I totally suck playing this time. I failed to buy intelligently. Too many turns where I wasn’t buying anything or getting gold/noteriety instead.

Like Love Letter Batman I think we need to start rationing our play of Thiefs Market. The danger I want to avoid is burning out on the game.

The new King of Thieves was Diego. 

Wow a clean sweep of victories for Diego. Whilst Jonathan and I both walked away with a bottom of the pile.

A great evening of gaming again. So same time and place next week? 

About last night…

It’s been a busy week, with only one post! Yeah that’s like me having the blogging equivalent of losing my voice or a sore throat.

Last night there was no FEG@TA arranged. Instead a plan was hatched to have a look at The White Lion. 

Jonathan and I were both running a tad late. But Debbie wasn’t there waiting for us, so we were able to be a little guilt free.

But Debbie wasn’t there! She was going to be there. She’d thumbed up on the mornings invite about meeting up. She never responded to a “where are you?” message on Facebook. How odd? Had she been kidnapped by space pirates? Or was she so guilt ridden she felt ashamed to respond? Who knows or cares? Jonathan and I had a large table that was well lit, two bags brimming with games, and our pints of cider. Debbie who?

So while we waited for Debbie to arrive in case she too was running late, Jonathan and I played Qwixx. Even if I hadn’t taken three negative marks during the game Jonathan would have beaten me, he had built up a comfortable lead to absorb any attempt at a come back.

Jonathan and I next played a game that he got in a trade and had been sitting in his pile of shame for a long long time, called Wurfel Express.

This was a German edition of Wurfel Express, with a poor translation of the rules. I do admire and appreciate that a bgg member has taken the time to translate the rules and make them available. However, (there is always a however) I wish they would take longer to not just do a straight translation but also make the rules readable!

This wasn’t the worst game I’ve ever played. That title is still held by Nantucket. But it this is a game that would never set the world on fire.

It’s got that push your luck Yahtzee  rolling of dice mechanic. And that’s about as exciting as the game gets. 

I know this is meant to be a family game. So it should be appealing to young and old. Which is totally possible to do. Apparently a good example would be the Stronghold Games Spiel des Jahres recommended game Animals on Board. I say apparently because I’ve not played it. But by all accounts it appeals to both young and seasoned gamers alike. Hey even Pixar produce films that appeal to all. Sadly this game doesn’t hold much to appeal to the more mature player.

So Jonathan can tick this game off his pile of shame and add it to his new gaming wing of crapness that takes it name from its founding entry The Nantucket Wing.

Our final game of the evening was the excellent small box pick up and deliver game The Great Heartland Hauling Co.

This game has a lot of replayability. In our game we used one of the alternate board layouts for two players called ‘Black Dog’. But there are two other two player alternate layouts, along with three and four player alternate layouts. You can play with the Badlands expansion (which adds a fifth player and two new location cards), and/or the truck stop cards (which offer upgrades you can purchase). We played with the truck stop cards last night.

During our game I got the truck stop that allowed me to move diagonally. Whilst Jonathan got one that when he stopped on the starting location he could draw five additional cards and then discard five cards. Jonathan’s was handy for that trying to draw to find the cards you need. But it doesn’t help if you are unlucky in your deck diving!

I triggered the end game, and when all the points were tallied I had won by a single mighty point. 

So after an evening of great company, drink, a fantastic gaming location, we took off to grab a wrap of dodgy meat for our supper.