Category Archives: Fenland Gamers

Fenland Gamers

Gruuling afternoon

Yesterday life whittled down yesterdays league participants to 6 for our second session.

I’d arrived early to rebuild my deck from my card pool I had for the league (the packs opened the previous session) and the one I cracked for this session. The majority of the others had their packs at the end of the previous session. I went red/green (gruul I believe it is known as). My only turn 1 card was a couple of Commune with Dinosaurs that would allow me to hunt for a dinosaur in the top 5 cards of my library. But in reality I’d be looking at playing a creature turn 2 onwards. I had options then, turn 2 blockers, attackers, even the chance to make dinosaurs cheaper.

When I deck build I do like to have more low cost options, and have some more costly options but not as many. That way I stand a better chance of getting playable stuff in my opening hand or a mulligan. Plus if I don’t draw much land, which can happen, I can play something, and draw something I can play.

Out of 11 games I went 6-5. So my wins edged it this time. And a very big improvement over the opening session of just 1 win.

I was happier with this deck and the way it built up. There is hardly any removal, a single Crushing Canopy.

I pulled a Deathgorge Scavenger, and Charging Monstrosaur in my loser booster. Which made the deck even stronger. Both were really effective.

We gave Lukas a quick play lesson for his deck and told him what he should be looking for in his opening hand. Sadly we didn’t have his card pool to hand to see if we could help him strengthen his deck.

As usual we had a great afternoon of playing MtG, at our great hosts FenRock. Who are currently doing some exciting changes to the climbing facilities they have.

Sunday Surprise

I knew that my second order from Card Kingdom was somewhere between their location on the west coast of America, the Atlantic and our postal system. So when the 2 battle decks, rookie deck, and sideboard starter turned up today I was a little surprised. Like the latest MtG duel deck I was expecting it next week sometime. But both early on a Sunday. What a pleasant surprise.

I’m a fan of the MtG duel decks. They are great for casual players who just want that MtG experience without all the investment and deck building etc. I’m really looking forward to playing this latest set of Merfolk vs Goblins. Especially when I’m hoping there are cards in the merfolk deck that I could use in a merfolk tribal deck for Commander. Yeah I have a merfolk deck on my list of Commander decks to build. I think Ixalan will be inspiring lots of tribal decks for Commander players. With this duel deck, Explorers of Ixalan and the next set Rivals of Ixalan there will be plenty of options to build tribal decks around merfolk. Naturally I’m not counting cards from earlier sets, because I don’t have many. So I build from what I have. Besides I won’t break up a duel deck, so if there are cards I want I’ll have to target buy or buy another copy. Anyway I digress.

These duel decks are my “let’s play a game of magic” for my friends and myself. Or sometimes for my students to use to play with.

The battle decks from Card Kingdom are their version/equivalent to the official Planeswalker decks. So I went with their new merfolk and dinosaur decks. After that digression earlier I bet you can guess why I got these two decks. Which might eventually be their final destination. But in the meantime they are going to fill the same kind of job as the duel decks which I think they are ideal for. Naturally at $10 a piece you are not going to be getting any high value cards. But used as I intend to they are a bargain.

The rookie red deck is just a basic deck I can use along side Welcome Decks to teach the game. Whilst I wanted the sideboard to introduce the concept to my students.

Naturally it goes without saying I’m rather keen to try these decks.


Yesterday Justin, Jonathan and myself played a couple of games. Our first game was Sub Terra. The baggage this game has is a nice source of banter at my expense. But then again it’s banter if you give it, you also have to receive it. This was a first time in the depths underground for Jonathan and Justin. Jonathan was designated first player by the fact his arm had been down a manhole recently. Which sadly was the nearest any of us had been to being underground. The criteria for choosing the first player in the rules is the person who most recently has been below ground. Thematic but still.

Jonathan and Justin both went off exploring in one direction while my two characters went off in another. A Horror didn’t turn up until the second half of the game. Unluckily for me the exit was on the side of the cave complex that Jonathan and Justin were on. Even worse for me was there was not a chance I’d make it over to them in time before we were out of time. Which didn’t matter, even with two horrors on their tails, both my cavers became unconscious. Still 4 out of 6 escaped. So we won the game!

Our second and final game of the afternoon was London (Second Edition). Which to cut along boring story short I won. Justin thanks to having lots of poverty ended up with a negative score. I think played right his tactic of 7/8 stacks could work. But when you ran the city you’d have to have zero cards in hand by the time you got to the calculating poverty stage.

A great afternoon gaming, and once more a big thanks to our hosts The White Lion for allowing us to play there.

November 2017 Monthly Meetup

Last night was the second Wednesday of the month once again. Which is the day the founding fathers of Fenland Gamers chose to meet up on a monthly basis.

With Clans of Caledonia (CoC) having just arrived the weekend before (finally), this was the perfect opportunity to get the game to the table.

Overall I really liked CoC. I liked the mechanics that make the game. For instance I like the variable setup. 4 double sided map boards, 8 clans, 9 starting goods tiles, 8 end of round scoring tiles, 8 port bonuses. That’s a lot of variety right there in the setup.

I liked how the prices of commodities could go up or down on the market board. It could be very tactical buying something you know another player will be going for just so that they have to pay more for the goods. Or even selling so that the price goes down and they get less money when they sell.

The end of round scoring is nice, especially when it will be different each round and game. It gives you a mini goal to try and achieve during that current round.

Another nice touch was the neighbour action that you can take when you expand into a space next to another players pieces. Once you have paid the cost of placing your piece, you can then at a discount buy up to 3 items (merchants allowing) of the goods provided by the other players pieces. So if you expanded next to a players sheep, then you could buy wool. This could be a nice way to reduce the cost of an item that you need to complete a contract.

The four port bonuses in each of the four corners of the game map were a nice way to get a one off in game bonus if you could get near to them.

The clan tiles, and the starting tiles give that sense of variable player abilities, and that each player is different. Which I like a lot.

Sadly there are some negatives to CoC. The general consensus round the table is that the game is too small. A 50% increase in size and I think it would have been alright. Look at the close up I took of the letters that are printed on each side of the boards to allow them to be arranged in the correct order on the table.

Look fine don’t they? But they are so small it’s really hard to see that they are there let alone read them. And I have 20/20 vision, I don’t need glasses.

Plus there was a little confusion over the iconography especially on the player board with the processed goods.

Jonathan and Diego thought that the end game scoring was unnecessarily complicated. Especially the farm scoring. And I kinda agree with them. Although I can see why it’s there I think to reward those players that expand a lot over the board.

I have to say that the actual production quality is pretty good, and the metal coins are really nice. I believe made by the same place that makes the coins for Stonemaier Games. They have a really nice weight to them and are stackable.

Diego won by 2 points. Jonathan was that close to winning. A misplay in the final round may have cost him the game. While I was easily in last place.

A great evening learning a new game with great friends. And a big thank you to the White Lion for hosting the evening.

In response 

Yesterday was the start of our MtG League. This time we were using the latest set Ixalan. 

We had to start earlier than our regular time because our amazing host Fenrock needed us finished by 4pm so that they could prepare for a Halloween/Guy Fawkes party that evening.

My win-loss record for the afternoon was abysmal, I went 1-8. A single win. I got milled twice. A couple of games were close though.

I was playing a blue/white or Azorius as it’s called pirates deck. Although after my second losing booster I had a couple of cards that needed black mana. But I didn’t splash any swamps into my deck. I used treasure for that instead. I’m not a pirates person. I’m definitely a dinosaur and merfolk. But you have to run with what the boosters give you.

However the words I used for the title of this post struck terror into the hearts of my opponents, “in response”. I had a blast playing this deck despite the abysmal win ratio. So much fun counter spelling those big expensive dinos as them were coming onto the battlefield and getting lots treasure for doing so. Who knew blue could be so much fun!

Now using the boosters I have, which in this league format act as your sideboard, I have two weeks to ponder my deck for our next league day. 

A big thanks once more to our hosts Fenrock for providing great facilities and coffee.

The Horrors of All Hallows’ Eve

Last night was meant to see Zombicide hitting the table, and a group of us playing a scenario using the “not” Big Bang Theory survivors. But considering it was only going to be myself and Edmund, I thought that taking hauling all my Zombicide stuff to The White Lion for the two of us was a bit much. So I let Edmund know we would be playing something else instead seeing it was just the two of us. Which he was happy with. So instead of Zombicide I took along Run,Fight or Die!, London (Second Edition) and Sub Terra.

I left the choice of what to play up to Edmund. After explaining a little about Run,Fight or Die! Edmund chose Sub Terra.

During setup we went with the Kickstarter exclusive Out of Time card (which really isn’t all that, or worth going “damn I must have that”), and we chose one of the exclusive Kickstarter start and exit tiles. Which seemed more appropriately coloured for the day.

Edmund chose his two characters to play with, which were the Bodyguard and the Leader, while I went with the Diver and Medic. Naturally were playing on the normal setting for the game, and not one of the two harder settings.

In our game it just worked out that my Diver and Edmund’s Bodyguard were together exploring the cave at one end, with a Horror tracking them through the darkness. While the Medic and Leader went off exploring in the opposite direction.

Edmund and I managed to get the Diver and Leader out of the cave. The medic fell unconscious to yet another cave-in, and was left for dead. I think he got hit by 3 during the game. The Bodyguard was left on the far side of the cave complex by the Diver to find his own way back to the others. But in the end the Bodyguard was consumed by the horrors hidden in the darkness.

So the big question is, what did I think of the game? There was a lot of baggage for this game to over come. Since it’s arrival last week the bad taste that ITB have left with their poor handling of this Kickstarter, I’ve found it extremely hard to muster up any enthusiasm to get this game to the table. If Edmund hadn’t chosen the game I don’t think I would have seen this hitting the table for a long time. But I’m glad it did. It’s a nice game. It is a nice co-op game. I like that you can adjust the difficulty.

I have to say that the Horror tokens are a big let down, although better than the purple things used in the retail version. These wouldn’t have been so bad if they had the white claw marks on them so they look like the token in the rule book and photos. During our game we were joking about how scary these black tokens were, with a heavy amount of sarcasm in our voices. You are not going to see any halloween fancy dress of this Horror next year that’s for sure. I like the caver meeples. They look cool, and I have to say that I preferred them to the optional plastic minis I could have got with this Kickstarter. The actual quality of the other game components is pretty good. I particularly like the feel of the life tokens that are used. They feel nice in the hand.

I wish though that I could say that the quality control of the game was amazing. But when a game is released with a missing tile, and an extra of another, misprinted rules booklet in one of the expansions, and a tile holder that has some tabs incorrectly cut, you have to ask what happened?

I got the deluxe version of the game, which came with a box that is enormous, and totally unnecessary. If the core game box was made an little bit deeper then the graphic novel, designers diary, and the components of the three expansions would have fitted in a single much smaller box.

It didn’t take long to pick up the rules of the game, and get into the swing of a turn. It’s not an overly complicated game. I like that you don’t know exactly where the exit is, and that it could be anyone of the last 6 tiles. So you know you are getting close to finding the exit, but not exactly when. It’s a bit like this with the hazard deck. You know that the times up card is at the bottom of the deck, but even so it comes at you as a surprise. You go from “we have plenty of time, we’ve got half the deck left”, to “OMG! we’re out of time”. I then like how the game isn’t instantly over at that point. But instead you carry on, obviously  not drawing from the hazard deck. But instead at the end of each round, each character not on the exit tile, whether conscious or not, rolls their dice to see if they survive. Roll less than 4, and the horrors in the dark drag them to their oblivion.

I liked the homing mechanic of the Horror, and it’s gradual drawing closer to the cavers. However in our game with it homing in on the Bodyguard/Diver pairing, we never really felt any impending doom. And I think that is probably the biggest problem I have with the game after this first play. It could be that this was made worse with the Bodyguard being one of the cavers, and around to just remove the Horror if and when it actually looked like it was going to be a threat.

Overall it’s a good game, worth another play at least.

My Experience With

The tail end of last week I decided after hearing how good Card Kingdom were from the likes of The Command Zone/Game Knights, Magic the Amatuering and Tolarian College. So I went on to their site and ordered one or two cards for the commander deck I’m putting together. There was an option for 2/3 day shipping, ok it was $16, but I thought hey let’s test this service out. Best case scenario they arrive Saturday, worse case Monday.

And I was impressed, within 45 minutes my order had been processed and was shipped. I even had a shipping number in the confirming email.

Naturally I used the UPS app to track where my order was. It actually did hit the UK on Saturday but not soon enough to get delivered to me. That’s ok I thought, when I get home Monday I will have these cool cards waiting for me.

Monday comes, UPS tells me the cards are out for delivery. I get home, nothing. Ok, where are they? I check the app they had been dropped off at a nearby pick point. WTF?!!!!!!!

I was soon onto Card Kingdom complaining and asking for refund on my postage. I had paid for a service and not got it. There is no way I would have something delivered to a third party.

For the record I have all my post delivered to my Nan’s next door to mine. Why? She is there 24/7, along with my Mum who is looking after her. So I know that there is some-one there always to take my deliveries in. Now Nan sits something like 3 or 4 feet from the front door on her sofa. Usually Strider my collie is chilling out lying right next to the front door. It’s his spot. Loki is a nannies boy, and is usually found curled up under the blankets with Nan, while Nico is also probably on the sofa with her too, if not on one of the other chairs. Nico and Loki are chihuahuas. The street we live in is an unadopted road, with a very bumpy surface. It’s also a dead end, one way in, one way out (the same way you came in). Anytime a vehicle of any kind comes down the road, one of the little terrors, if not both is at the window looking out. If a person knocks on the door, well you can imagine the noise they make. Add to this that Mum has two dogs of her own that also are pretty hot on when some-one is at the door, and equally as vocal as mine.

So when the Card Kingdom support person told me that the reason my order had been left at the pick up point was because the UPS person had tried to deliver to my address (Nan’s) and there was no one there, I got a bit salty and called bullshit. I fed back to the support person a slightly shorter version of the above explaining why that UPS person had not made an attempt to deliver my order. There is no way in hell anyone tried delivering to my Nan’s on Monday from UPS. Why it was then left at the pick up point, when I have never said that was something I wanted them to do is a mystery to me. They should have made an attempt to redeliver the order to me.

I was getting very frustrated, and salty. It was looking like the earliest I would be able to pick up my order from that UPS pickup point was late Saturday or on Sunday. It is the wrong week for something like this to happen. Luckily I was able to wrangle a small window when I could pick up the order yesterday.

But you would not believe how salty I was feeling towards UPS.

In the meantime Card Kingdom I thought was refunding the postage to my PayPal account, were in fact refunding it as a credit with them on my next order. But the support person cancelled that and sent it to my PayPal instead.

BUT! Over night they got back to me and refunded the whole order to compensate me for all the hassle. WOW!! I was not expecting that, I was more than happy with the postage refund. I know Card Kingdom can’t control what UPS do. But they can feed that back to UPS that they were unhappy with the service they got from UPS. I know I will be. Card Kingdom has gone above and beyond what I was expecting. I’m certainly going to be ordering more from them. And I have an order all ready to go, I’m just waiting for things to cool down this week before I press the trigger on it.

The hype you hear in these podcasts that they sponsor is for real folks.

A mountain short

“One more mountain and I would have won!”

That’s how I got to sleep last night after playing commander with Jeff, Jamie, and Lukas yesterday afternoon.

We had a 2 hour window to squeeze in a game of commander and teach Jeff the basics of Magic (he hadn’t played it before), before the hotel closed for the day. Jeff played with my Vampiric Bloodlust deck from Commander 2017. After a brief run through of how to play Magic, we started our game of commander.

I was playing the Heavenly Inferno preconstructed deck from the Commander Anthology set. The commander for this deck was Kaalia of the Vast (which apparently is going for £33 on sites such as Magic Madhouse, that’s a third of the cost of the set for one card!)

I was using Kaalia early on to cheat out other creatures in my hand for free. I can see why she is the price she is. 4 CMC (Converted Mana Cost) for a 2/2 and that ability. Cards like Akroma, Angel of Fury (8 CMC), Bladewing the Risen (7 CMC), Reiver Demon (8 CMC) and Lightkeeper of Emeria (4 CMC) that were sitting  in my hand were soon out on the battlefield doing their thing with Kaalia’s ability.

I was aided early on by cards like Return to Dust that enabled me to put the brakes on Jamie’s dragon deck (a tweaked 2017 commander deck) by removing his artifact and enchantment he had out that would have enabled him to get his big nasty dragons out earlier by making them cheaper.

It was funny because when Jamie did finally get a dragon out on the board I played Syphon Flesh which meant the other players had to sacrifice a creature, and I got a 2/2 black Zombie token for each creature sacrificed that way. The dragon Jamie had out was his only creature, so that went bye bye. Then Jeff had a creature out that had an ability that kicked in at the start of his upkeep that required each player to sacrifice a creature. Which basically stopped Jamie from playing anything for a few turns because he would have to sacrifice it after his turn finished. Luckily I had enough tokens and cheap creatures out that I didn’t have to lose any of my big flying hitters.

I actually held on to Lightkeeper of Emeria until near the middle of the game when I could bring her out using Kaalia’s ability when attacking, and kick her 4 times to add 8 health to myself. That put me in a pretty good position mid game, 48 health, and 4 flying creatures out on the battlefield.

Towards the end of the game, with the clock ticking away, Jeff took control of Akroma, Angel of Fury. Luckily he was unable to do anything with it to me before I killed it off. Sadly for Jamie he had to take 6 points of damage from it under Jeff’s control.

We all were under 10 health. I had hit everyone for 7 damage with Earthquake, and cleared out some creatures.

With less than 5 minutes on the clock, I had the final turn of the game before the hotel was to shut. I needed to top deck a solution that would give me the win. I drew Diabolic Tutor. That was a pretty good top deck. I could go and look for a solution. With the seconds ticking away, I didn’t have time to look through my whole deck. I came across Sulfurous Blast. That would get everyone down to 2 or three points of damage. I had 2 flying creatures to attack with. Jamie and Jeff had creatures, but they were tapped out, or would die before they could block. Lukas has no creatures out. I only had enough mana to fire Pyrohemia once. Not enough to kill Lukas off he would still have one life left. One more mountain or a third creature and I could win. I swung in and killed Lukas and Jamie (I was not going to have dragons win the game), and left Jeff with a couple of points of life and myself unable to defend him attacking. In hindsight without the pressure of the clock ticking, I should have killed Jeff and Jamie, and let Lukas live. Lukas would take his go, hopefully not have a creature with haste to play, pass the turn back to me, and I’d win. But that hit me on the way into work this morning, as the way I could have won. Instead I was killed by Jeff, leaving him as the last man standing and the winner of his first game of Magic and our game of commander.

It’s hard to get across how much pressure there was with that clock ticking away, knowing that we had seconds to finish, pack up and get out. I’d like to think without that pressure I would have spotted that optimal play to give me the win. But it did rely on Lukas not playing anything that could remove my last 3 points of life.

I really enjoyed this Heavenly Inferno deck. It was fun to play, helped by some awesome card draw.

It was a fun afternoon, Jeff enjoyed his first game of Magic. Who knows we may see Jeff at more commander sessions, he’s more than welcome to use one of my precon decks if he does want to come along again.

Finally a big thank you The White Lion Hotel for their generosity in letting us play there. It is really appreciated.

Friday Evening Gaming Half Term Edition

The last day of half term started off with Edmund, and Jonathan being regaled with my tales of woe about the Sub Terra kickstarter. I have to say the publisher ITB have left a very bad taste in the mouth, making me less than enthusiastic about the game. There is no way I will ever back or buy one of their games again. In the meantime all I want is for them to fix the mistakes and missing items in my copy of the game. Then I need to decide if I want to keep the game or sell it on. 

After hearing my tales of deceit, poor quality control, broken promises and general inability to organise a piss up at a brewery we switched to lying and bluffing playing the classic Perudo aka Liars Dice. Which thinking about it is the game that best describes ITB.

While we were partaking in this battle of wits, Diego arrived. By the time he had purchased his usual beverage, Edmund was on the brink of being eliminated. 

It was just Jonathan and I, and three dice between us. In the end I was proven to be the biggest liar and bluffer.

For a city I hate, I sure like London (Second Edition). This time we were playing with the full player count. And with the help of Edmund a correction to a major misplay from the first play last weekend.

The rules correction did impact how many times we ran our cities, well for Jonathan and I. It added another element to consider, hand size. Last weekend we hadn’t been adding in poverty for each card in our hand when running our cities. It did make us run our cities less.

London held up well with the maximum player count. I liked it as a two player game and at the full count. There aren’t many games that can do this.

Edmund won the game after having to go to a tie breaker with Diego. More importantly I was third. Only four points behind them.

And that was our Friday evening of gaming. 

The Only London I Like

Whose idea was it to do a 10am play session?  Getting dressed before midday on a Sunday such a silly idea. Ok it was the only time Jonathan was free for us to try the latest addition to his collection London (Second Edition) by Martin Wallis. Which I was pretty keen to try. There was the compensation for getting dressed of a full English with optional extra (75p addon) black pudding, and unlimited refill coffee at  Spoons where we were meeting to play.

The day before Jonathan had messaged me that he had to be back home by midday and that London as a two player experience a long drawn out game. Apparently there was a two player variant for the original version but not the second edition. With an eye on the clock we were going to play London and see how we got on.

I’d got to Spoons slightly early so I could have that traditional breakfast. Which I had  was just having the last bites of when Jonathan arrived. The coffee used by Spoons according to the menu is Lavazza coffee. It was awful. Not even sugar could hide it’s hideous taste. And sugar can usually hide most things. Jonathan had already had a bacon sarnie for breakfast so he too signed up for the unlimited refill coffee.

I really do think Osprey the publisher do a fantastic job with the presentation of their games. I love the graphic design of the box for the game. It’s simple, yet elegant. The component quality is usually pretty good too.

Jonathan had said people had complained about the cards in the game. But they were thick, not linen finish. Jonathan thought maybe a little sticky. They seemed ok quality wise. Not the best, but definitely not the worse either. However by the end of the game the were scuff marks showing on the edges of one or two cards. Not good. There is certainly an issue here. I wouldn’t expect this after just one play!

The game itself is very enjoyable and definitely not a long and drawn out experience. I think it was just over an hour including learning to play the game by reading the rules, and with the expected looking up the odd rule through out the game.

I’ll talk more about the mechanics once I’ve had a chance to play the game with more players. There are some nice mechanics here.

I did win the game, I scored massively with my city cards. Something Jonathan failed to notice I had been doing. The Westminster borough was also a useful one to own. I could draw 0,1, or 2 cards at the start of my turn. Most of the time I drew two cards. But the odd time I didn’t draw any. Like at the end to stretch out the game a turn or two more to rack up more points. 

I liked it as a two player experience. Glad I have a copy on the way. If you are paying £30 or more for this then you aren’t looking hard enough online. At under £30 this is good value for money, over less so. Mind you that money you save will have to be spent on sleeves for the cards.

While out playing London, my half term reading Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu Earth Volume 1 arrived. I remember reading Rogue Trooper when he first appeared in 2000 A.D. as a teenager. So he was long over due a revisit to renew our friendship. 

Magic and Politics!

As a “palette cleanser” between MtG leagues we set up a Commander session.

Commander for those wondering what the hell it is, is a multiplayer variant of Magic the Gathering. Each player has a commander (a Legendary creature), a deck of 99 cards (apart from basic lands, you can only have one copy of each card), and starts with 40 health. It’s basically a free for all after that, last man standing is the winner.

But the thing is there is a political element to the game that a “normal” game of Magic doesn’t have. You are making deals, ganging up to remove the current big threat on the table. 

We had seven players turn up to play Commander. Which meant we had two tables with people playing Commander. 4 players on one table, and 3 on the other.

I was on the 4 player table. Which was made up of myself, Diego, Justin, and Jamie.  We were all playing with preconstructed decks. Justin was using the cat tribal 2017 deck, Jamie had the dragon tribal 2017 deck. While Diego and I had decks from the Anthology. I had chosen the Plunder the Graves deck, which I assumed was going to be putting stuff into the graveyard and doing stuff with it. Diego chose Freyalise Llanowar’s Fury that had a Planeswalker as it’s commander. 

Naturally dragons were seen as the biggest threat on the table. So we all smacked Jamie first, although the odd blow went towards each other as well. However that allowed Diego to make use of his deck, get commander out, work those combos. It wasn’t long before Diego had too much out, and was dominating things. Sadly no board wipes were coming. So the inevitable happened, he won.

Our second game started out the same way. Keep those big nasty dragons off the table. This game was looking like a win for Justin. He’d got 22 health left, Diego was on 8, I was on 10. I’d got some creatures on the board (after a great power play a couple of turns earlier) that made me less of a target than Diego. I’m not entirely sure I could have survived Justin swinging at me, but luckily I didn’t have to find out because he swung in with everything he had but 1 creature suffering from summoning sickness at Diego to finish him off. If I swung in with everything I had enough to win, even if Justin blocked. I’d won!

The tables then swapped round. The four player table was now Justin, myself, Josh and Michael. Josh was running the dragon deck. But the biggest threat was Michael and his constructed deck he built. Which meant a pact was made to target him first. I’d mulliganned most games during the afternoon. But I’d forgotten we were using the Paris mulligan, I could have been keeping a card or two I wanted in the mulligans. Doh! The biggest surprise for me in this game was that I lasted so long in this epic long game. I needed lands, particularly a forest so I could start playing cards. I had removal stuff in hand that would ruin Michaels plans, if I only had a flipping forest. 

Our alliance fell apart for a while after I was finally able to cast spells, and a failed attempt to remove Michael’s two creatures in front of him. I had played a card that forced everyone to sacrifice two creatures. I had none, so was ok. It got rid of the creatures in front of Josh and Justin. However it didn’t get rid of the one I’d hoped for with Michael. He flashed in a third creature and sacrificed that saving the threat. Justin soon developed into the biggest threat, and saw him with some nasty pumped up cats in front of him. We all managed to work together to take out one particularly nasty threat from Justin. Josh was getting salty about not being able to keep any dragons out on the battlefield. I don’t think it helped when I took control of one from his graveyard. Justin killed Josh first. I was next on his hit list. Not a surprise really. After such a bad start I was gobsmacked is lasted so long. At my death Michael had just triggered his threat.  He was no getting an extra turn after every other players turn. With his extra turn he somehow wrangled it so that after Justin’s turn he’d be getting 17 extra turns!!! That’s game over once he started taking them for Justin. Sadly for Michael he never got to take them. Justin smacked the life out of him to grab the win.

A great afternoon, some amazing game play. This was such great fun. 

Commander adds that extra political element, and multiplayer that almost makes MtG into a different game! If you don’t like “regular” MtG would you like Commander? It depends on what it is you don’t like about MtG. At the end of the day you are still playing MtG. However as my bad starts have shown that isn’t such a liability in Commander. The bigger liability is being seen as a threat. So if it’s the “I always draw badly” or “it’s down to luck of the draw” as your reasons for not liking MtG then give this a go. If it’s the theme and mechanics, that’s not changed.

A big big thank you to our hosts Fenrock for the use of their facilities, and great coffee.

Our next MtG league starts on the 4th November for anyone interested in joining in the fun. Details of time and location (Fenrock) can be found on the event set up on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page. Where you can also sign up to say you are coming (which would be handy to know so I know how many boosters to get in).


Remember my post about my students enthusiasm for Magic since being introduced to the game? They are even emailing me (at work) telling me about their new purchases.

After spending most of the day tucked up on the sofa sipping lemsip and having snoozes, fighting the symptoms of man flu, I dragged myself off my sickbed to play Guilds of London. Maybe we should have played Pandemic instead the way I was feeling.

Guilds of London was lasted played by Jonathan and myself in June 2016. Basically just after last years expo where we both bought the game (my copy was signed by the designer Tony Boydell, while Jonathan forgot to get his signed). Like Covert (and many others in our collections) Guilds of London has been kept away from the table by the cult of the new, and other great games. Which is a shame because this too is a really good game. It’s not a game for new players to the hobby, or those that like lighter games. Which is also a factor that kept it away from the table.

Naturally with with just two players we used the two player setup for the game. And after refreshing our faded memories about the rules, I took an early lead.

There was a major struggle for control for the Church of St Lawrence Jewry. 4 points and four cards were at stake. After three attempts to resolve it, we were still tied. The fourth time it went to Jonathan. But not long afterwards realised that the third tie I should have claimed it because I had a guildmaster adjacent to the tile.

It was not until the final three rounds that Jonathan caught up score wise and over took me to get the win.

Guilds of London is still a great game, with still its main problem being decoding the meaning of the cards. It should have had four player aids instead of just the two. 

After the game Jonathan and I chatted, but I wasn’t feel too good. Playing the game had taken it out of me. I was getting hot, and the effects of the lemsip were wearing off. 

A great evening gaming, but it nearly killed me!