Category Archives: Fenland Gamers

Fenland Gamers

It’s cold outside

Fridays come round so quickly, especially on a week that starts with a bank holiday.

Diego and I arrived at the hotel at the same time. So while waiting for others to arrive we went for that micro worker placement experience by playing a couple of games of Mint Works. Diego and I shared the honours, one win a piece.

During our second game Edmund arrived, closely followed by Chris. We had enough to start playing a more weightier game, But what?

Edmund had recently been watching some “classic” Tabletop episodes, and chose the modern zombie survival, hidden traitor classic by Plaid Hat Games Dead of Winter.

Our overall objective for survival was guns and food. When doesn’t it?

But who was our traitor? One of the others at this table was going to betray the rest of us to meet their own secret agenda. Our failure would be their success.

The way things were going in our game no one obvious was acting suspiciously. Maybe my actions were making me look like the traitor. My Secret Objective was to make sure none of my group had wounds at the end, along with the successful completion of our main goal. I can see how constantly healing my characters could look suspicious.

Two rounds left on the clock, two morale remaining. We were not in a great position for succeeding. Then Chris made a great observation. If we exile some-one we needed less to meet our objective. I knew Chris was going to nominate me once it got round to him. I could see it in his eyes. Luckily on the end round I was group leader. I broke ties! So at the end of my turn I called a vote to exile Chris and his two dice. A vote that ended in a draw. A draw I decide on. Chris and his survivors were thrown out into the cold brutal night to fend for themselves. 

Naturally I’d forgotten one thing in my cunning pre-emptive plan. Chris had most of the guns we needed to win. Ok we were still short on the food front too. Bugger!

So we failed our mission. The zombies and Dead of Winter won.

The photo below is how this excellent evening ended for me.


But my night doesn’t end there with low quality greasy meat.

At 1am I woke up with a severe pain in my side, roughly where my kidney was.

The pain was incredible.

I phoned mum next door to come and get the dogs and call the emergency services. 

The pain was so bad. But it didn’t end there. No I was being sick too. 

Excruciating pain, being sick, it doesn’t get better than that. Well throw in sweating and shivering, and you get what my three hours were like before finally an ambulance arrived. 

They immediately put me in the ambulance after taking one look at me. Although my pain at that point was a 6/7 out of 10. When it was hitting 10, I was writhing on the floor. 

Inside I was given that gas used for pain relief by pregnant women during delivery. That’s good stuff. Twenty puffs of that, and that 6/7 was gone.

By the time we got to the hospital the pain had stopped. But they needed to do the checks etc. So biological samples were taken, readings made. But at this point it was like bolting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

The medical theory was that I’d had a gallstone move into a duct. 

I was prescribed some pain killers incase it happened again. And told to see my GP for a CT scan to check things out, especially if it happened again.

I was free to return home, have a snooze, recover and write this post.

Another great start to the weekend.

Stain glass craft

Have you ever read/seen/heard Misery by Stephen King? If you have then after hearing Lucia give an update on Will last night, you couldn’t help having the image of Annie Wilkes and the author Paul Sheldon, in that infamous hobbling scene in your head. 

That’s despite the proof of life photo (below) that Lucia bought in to show us.

So after laughing at Wills mishaps last night. Lucia, Jonathan and myself sat down to play Sagrada

Sagrada had arrived on Tuesday, typical after the Easter break, and I’m back at work. I’m really not impressed with Shipnaked, the distribution side that a lot of Kickstarter projects use.

This game is stunning. It’s almost a cliche I feel to say so. There are a lot of gorgeous games being made these days. But still it’s hard to not fall back on this cliche to describe the game. It’s bright, attractive. You can’t not think of stain glass windows looking at the box. 

Not to disappoint the production quality of the game is out of the park also.

I’d had a learning game earlier in the day with Dale. Where it turns out we misplayed a rule.

Sagrada has a nice puzzle element to it on the dice placement. That kind of reminded me of a bit of Roll For America and it’s placing of numbers.

It’s a quick game to learn, the rules are not that complicated. So quick to teach as well. Although the rule book could do with a page extra containing further explanations of some of the the tool cards.

There is potentially a lot of variety in the game, via the different player boards, randomly assigned hidden objectives, and randomly drawn open objectives and tool cards (used to manipulate the dice in some way).

Having a number of favour tokens (dependent on the player board selected) to spend on using the tool cards, is a great way to control when and how often a player can use these dice manipulation powers. It means you can’t just use them willy nilly but have to weigh up when to use them. 

The dice drafting worked well. And I liked using the last remaining die as the round marker.

I did find sometimes that it was a bit too cramped on the player board when placing dice. So sometimes you were knocking dice out of position. Curse my giant hands!

I like the fact they included a social media bragging card. It’s a little thing but it’s fun.

Lucia won our first game, with me winning the second, and becoming the new Master Artisan.

Yeah another great Kickstarter that delivered on its promise. 

We finished the evening attempting to save the world from disease by playing Jonathan’s dice game (although he hasn’t played Dice Masters or Star Wars Destiny) Pandemic: The Cure

Luckily for the rest of you we were successful in finding cures and cleaning up a disease ridden world.
Ok here is the bit you suffered for. I hope the pain of the rest of the post was worth it.

Stopping the Rise of Azathoth

The Bank Holiday Monday was spent trying to stop the rise of the Elder God Azathoth.

I was “aware” of the game Eldritch Horror. But had never played it. So when Justin asked if anyone in Fenland Gamers wanted to play it Bank Holiday Monday, “yeah I do”, I thought.

So I ended up at a new location to play this game. Is it common knowledge that Outwell has a climbing wall called Fenrock? I’m not sure. Even so you certainly wouldn’t list it as a possible gaming location. But thanks to the generosity of the owner Justin and I were playing Eldritch Horror there in a side room used for yoga.

There were only the two of us playing this Cthulhu themed co-op game. That plays apparently 1 – 8 players. I can’t imagine the game with the higher end of the player count. It must take soooo long to play. 

Ok this was a first play for me, Justin had partially played the game before. So it was a kinda learning game.

Setup takes a little while to do. There is lots of cards and stuff to this game. It definitely could do with an insert to organise things and speed up setup. 

Considering it was the two of us racing around the globe to hold back the forces of darkness, we were playing an “easy” Elder God Azathoth.

There are some nice touches to the game, and it feels like a more complicated Pandemic. But I’m not going to talk much more about Eldritch Horror in this post. I want to play the game with more players first. Which is a good sign that I liked the game enough that I want to play it again.

Justin and I did defeat Azathoth, and thus saved the world. After the tedious job of packing away (I did say there were lots of pieces etc), Justin and I briefly discussed games, Kickstarter and possibly having more sessions at Fenrock. 

A good afternoons gaming. Thanks Justin.

UPDATE: forgot to mention one important thing, the game could do with player aids. There are none. Luckily the back of the reference guide and rule book have a turn/round summary. 

Sunday Afternoon Gaming

The long bank holiday weekend meant we were able to set up a general gaming session for Sunday afternoon.

Chris and I were joined by recent new member to the club Edmund, and a first time attendee Charlie, at our regular gaming haunt The White Lion Hotel. 

Will and Lucia were due to join us. But that knee  that I told you about on Saturday, it was hurting. So they went off to the “local” A&E to see if he could get a robotic leg and become a cyborg. (Look my version of events is so so much more entertaining than the mundane truth. But we do wish Will a speedy recovery.) 

After purchasing beverages and brief introductions it was time to retire to the table to play some games.

Our first game of the afternoon was Roll for the Galaxy. 

As Chris rightly pointed out the rule book looks scarey for this game. But in reality when you start playing it really is quite simple to play.

Despite the game being “simple” to play I still lost. I didn’t have much of an engine going generating stuff, despite getting 12 planets in front of me. 12 cheap planets. 2 and 3 values with a single 4. The others had been drawing better than me, and scoring higher value planets.

But although it would have been nice to have scored more or even have won, the journey was still a blast.

We followed Roll for the Galaxy with the game that kicked off the Dice Tower essentials line, Sheriff of Nottingham.

I’d got this game in to use with my students that come to my enrichment sessions. So the chance to play it, especially with a couple of people that knew it, was not to be missed.

This game does rely in part on how much people get into the roles. The more they commit, ham it up, the more fun things are.

This game is about bluffing, trying to work out who is lying. And it’s a blast. But I refer you back to my previous statement. We all got into our roles, and that did play a big part into the game being so much fun.

For me Sheriff of Nottingham falls into the same camp of game as Gloom. Another game that if the people really commit to it (in Glooms case making up the stories of woe) the better it is.

I’m loathe to say that this is a game that has to be played with the “right” crowd. Mainly because I think those sort of games aren’t really games. You shouldn’t need to rely on having the “right” people for a game to work. Gloom and Sheriff of Nottingham are ok games at best if people don’t get into the role play/story elements of those games. These are games that build those elements into the game itself. They are an integral part of the game. Where as the games that need the “right” folks such as Bomb Squad tend to be no fun at all, or even a game (in my opinion).

I’m not sure that mini rant and point were made very clear.

Charlie ran away with the victory smuggling contraband and the most apples into the city. I should have been a bit bolder in my bluffing. 

The session finished off with a couple of games of the crowd pleaser Mint Works.

Once more I lost the first game on the tie breaker to Chris. Then our second game I came last with 6 points. 

But still this was the first time Edmund and Charlie had played the game. And they loved it. I think if Mint Works was actually being sold in stores over here two more copies would have been sold that night. It’s not that bad getting it from the US. But still it needs to be out on the shelves of your FLGS.

It was a great afternoons gaming, and really great seeing new people finding the club. I hope that we were welcoming and delightful (we even gave the clubs mini induction – you can’t play yellow. Yellow is Jonathan’s colour. Actually yellow is like Shelton’s spot on the sofa for Jonathan! Yellow is a horrible colour luckily no one wanted to play it.) And look forward to seeing them again at more gaming sessions. 

House Magic and Prophecies

So like Wizards of the Coast (or WotC as they are abbreviated to) came up with this cool idea. Well giving them credit for a business plan used by drug dealers for like ever is a bit generous, but still it seems innocent enough. That idea is to give you a free mini deck, teach you how to play, and give you a promo card. All in the comfort of your FLGS. Or in drug dealer terms, here’s a free sample, this is how you shoot up, here use my living room. 

WotC are calling this cunning stolen plan “Magic Open House”.

This event is for people who have never played Magic before, need a Magic refresher, or want to introduce a friend to the game! Show up, get a Welcome Deck, and play Magic against other newer players. Thousands of game stores will be hosting Magic Open House events to welcome players to Magic, one day only, on April 15.

Yes my FLGS The Hobbit Hole was taking part in this event of epic proportions. 

It would have been rude of me not to turn up.


So I went for the red Welcome Deck. Mainly because I’d caught the end of a live Facebook broadcast the day before the UK community manager for Magic the Gathering. The bit I saw was the end of a brief look at the various Welcome Decks. I came in where the last pack she was looking at was red, and the sentence (I paraphrase here) “if you like dragons”. I thought I like dragons. And it was that thought that went through my mind when choosing my Welcome Deck upon arrival at The Hobbit Holes Open House.

I have to admit when I saw the Stalking Tiger card in the green Welcome Deck I was envious. I really did like the art work on that card.

So I got some games in with a “Magic Expert” to teach me the game. Our first couple of games just used the thirty card mono colour deck from our Welcome Deck. Then we combined those cards with the other thirty card deck that’s included in the box, which is a different colour. So I was playing a red/blue deck. I lost that match up.

I then played against another “Magic Expert” and lost that game too. My final game before having to leave was against John (the store owner) which I also lost.

But it was fun playing those decks. Although I never did get my dragon to the table. Didn’t draw it once.

It really was a nice intro event. If you get a chance you should go to one and try Magic the Gathering. You don’t have to get heavy into it. I play the Duel Decks when I can. Plus there was that new league format that didn’t require having lots of cards. Which I hope starts up again soon.

Having collected my foil full art land card as my final reward for taking part, I dashed across the Fens back to Wisbech. I had some time jumping to do.

Here be Dragons…

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! There may or may not be spoilers for the third scenario Prophecy of Dragons.

When I arrived at The White Lion everyone was there already. Including the walking wounded Will, who apparently injured the ligaments round his knee whilst recreating the classic Undertaker and Mankind Hell in a Cell match (see YouTube clip below) by jumping off the top of his wardrobe (ok I may have taken a little bit of artistic licence there in what actually happened. But frankly my version is far more exciting and credible.)

Anyway this was our first time back together since our first attempt at Prophecy of Dragons. Which was a good couple of months back. Our memories aren’t that great. So we pressed the rest button and approached the game as if playing for the first time.

Whilst going through the scenario one or two things started to come back to us. But we still ran out of time on our first run through.

But Jonathan had been sneaky and had made notes where the three fairies could be found. Just in case like. I hadn’t even noticed him paying extra attention to the cards.

So while resetting we decided to change tact from our initial run, and the majority of runs in the long ago previous failed attempt, and collect the fairies.

This got us to the portal with plenty of time units, we got through the swimming bit. Which was shocking because this had defeated us so many times. But the dice were really kind to us. Amazingly so.

We had done it. We were now into undiscovered country and the mysterious mystery black deck.


We were inside the castle! A new map, new locations to explore. Wow. This was unreal. 

We explored the castle and ended up in the final conflict. The big battle was a little easier than it should have been because we were able to use a beacon on the big bad that killed him straight away!

However the final act to complete the mission fell upon my character as it could only be done by a magic user. Luckily earlier decisions meant I was rolling seven dice for magic skill tests. So in about three rolls I had completed the task and won the day! Yep it was me, I was the hero, and I didn’t need a naked woman or girly mag to do it (see earlier T.I.M.E. Stories write ups).

OMG! We had done it. Prophecy of Dragons is fun. Is it the best one? It’s less puzzly for sure. I like the introduction of magic. But I think I’m hard pushed to say it’s the best. It’s very reliant on the first half of finding that optimal path through. But still lots of fun.

Ancient Egypt next time.

Waiting for me at home…

Monthly Meet Up – Mar 17 

“Can you come out to play an hour earlier tonight?” I asked Jonathan in the playground.

“Sure” he replied.

So an hour before the Fenland Gamers monthly meet up (which is every second Wednesday of the month) Jonathan and I met up to play a couple of two player abstract games.

First to the table was my latest arrival Onitama.

The presentation and components are stunning for this game. The autumn brown tones fits so well the “theme” of the two competing martial arts schools. The box a welcome break from the normal boardgame fare is long and rectangular, with a magnetic clasp. The board is a playmat, which I love. The player pieces are a solid plastic and look great. The cards used in the game have a nice clean design, with thematic text on. Yeah I love how this game looks. Visually it’s great.

The game can be explained and learnt in under five minutes. But there is a lot of depth there underneath. You are having to think several moves ahead. Also keeping an eye on the moves your opponent has and will be getting.

By only using a random subset of the card pool each game for the player moves there is a lot of variety and replayability.

I can see the chess like reference that others have said about the game. It certainly does have that feel to it.

The games are quick to play. Jonathan and I played two games (that I won) in fifteen minutes.

So did Tom Vasel choose wisely for his Dice Towers Essentials line? You bet. Tom has found a classic here, and the publisher has done an amazing job on the presentation front. This is in such a great size box you can easily see it being taken in a bag on holiday or carried to the pub to be played. I can see this being played in parks and pubs, just like chess. 

We followed up Onitama with a game or two of Santorini

In our first game Jonathan’s win was tainted, because technically I should have won. He had failed to notice my next move was to win and built a ground floor building instead of a dome. I went “wow I’m surprised you didn’t go there”. Then Jonathan saw the move, I allowed him to retake his go. As you do in friendly games. Jonathan had been too busy trying to avoid my pieces to have notice the correct move. It was a game of avoiding each other’s pieces. I had Medusa so could build on top of his pieces if I was above them to remove them from the board. Whilst Jonathan had Bia. Which meant if he moved into a space and one of my pieces were in an adjacent space in the same direction of movement they two would be removed from the board. It was an interesting dance, that saw me building ontop of one of his pieces to remove it, a minor victory, but Jonathan went on to get the win.

We squeezed in a couple more games before it was time for the monthly meet to start. But both Onitama and Santorini are prefect examples of two great abstract games that are quick to learn, quick to play, and great as “filler” games when you have the odd ten minutes to fill. The only problem they have is you always want to play one more game!

Before the meet Gavin and I had arranged, well discussed with possibly a commitment to play Dice City.

I had recently part exchanged the base game along with my Dice Masters collection for Gavin’s copy of  Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small. So we were both keen to get it to the table. I wanted to play it again (with the All That Glitters expansion), and Gavin wanted to play it after his weekend opportunity to get it to the table fell through.

So Gavin, myself and Katie set up to build cities in Dice City. While Jonathan, Chris and Edmund tried saving mankind in  Pandemic: the Cure (I think with the expansion).

While waiting for us to finish our game of Dice City the other group had a game of Colt Express. A game that splits our game group. Gavin doesn’t like it (hence why he traded his copy away), Jonathan isn’t keen on it, while Chris and myself enjoy it.

I liked what All That Glitters added to the game. It wasn’t making major rule changes, just gave a new end trigger, some new cards and a universal resource. You’d not really know it wasn’t part of the base game.

Katie took a military route for her city. Which thankfully wasn’t turned towards attacking Gavins and my cities, or stealing our resources. She instead concentrated on stopping bandits.

Gavin had a little military. So was doing the odd raid against bandits (also for going attacking neighbouring cities). But his main focus seemed to be buildings that generated victory points (vp). So when he activated those buildings he was getting upto five vp a time.

Me? I was generating a resource creating engine. Which did nab me two ten point trader ships. That did counter some of Gavins vp grabbing each turn. I was also going for as many high value vp buildings as possible. I did trigger the end game by completing two rows of buildings.

Gavin with his vp engine won the game.

After our game of Dice City, we were then waiting for the train robbing to finish. So we broke out a “filler game”. 

The one I chose was Council of Verona. Which was handy because I had just got the Corruption expansion. An expansion that had proved rediculously hard to get in the UK and expensive. Luckily on the off chance I had looked back on Amazon and found it at its normal price, but shipped from the US. Why this nice little game of bluffing and deduction is so hard to get hold of I don’t know.

Naturally we played with everything, the Poison and Corruption expansions.

Tokens and corruption cards were played. I thought my plans were working. 

Poisons killed, corruption cards bluffed, agendas failed to complete. I poisoned Juliet! Our game ended in a three way zero point draw!!!

I liked how Council of Verona played with everything included. The new levels of bluffing or manipulating the game board. Wow. 

Our final game of the evening was a six player game of 7 Wonders. For me this is the maximum number of players I’d play the game with. (The minimum I’d play with is four.)

Chris won the game, I came in second just. I beat Gavin into third place by a point.

7 Wonders was a great way for the evening to end. Bringing everyone together for a game. Plus it plays reasonably fast for the player count. 

A great evening of gaming once again! We are so lucky in our club that everyone (including me!) are so nice and relaxed. There is competition when playing but it’s not the be all and end all, and no one is a dick about it. We have banter but it’s friendly and not a hint of nastiness. Great people. 

Looking forward to our next session.

Dethroning King Joffrey The People’s Uprising

Unable to avoid the rabble any longer, King Joffrey had to muster his forces yesterday to try and quell the revolt.

But before armies clashed, clandestine deals had to be done over in Chatteris between Gavin and myself. Gavin and I had been talking a day or so earlier and fallen into a deal where for his copy of Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small I would hand over in exchange my Dice Masters stuff and my spare copy of Dice City (yeah I ended up with two copies of the game this week, an opportunity arose last weekend to get the base game along with the All That Glitters expansion for £15). 

Once we had verbally come to our agreement I was straight on to my FLGS The Hobbit Hole to secure the copy of the second expansion for the game Agricola: All Creatures Great and Small – Even More Buildings Big and Small (rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?)

So after goods were exchanged in the car park Gavin and I paid John a visit in his establishment, and our FLGS. I picked up the expansion, plus the latest Netrunner data pack. And somehow walked out also with a copy of Suburbia Subdivision (a tenner!). Gavin didn’t leave empty handed either. He had bought some boosters for Dice Masters.

 

Life stuff had dwindled the forces opposing the tyrants rule down to just three armies against him.

The battle field had been decided A Game of Thrones the boardgame (second edition) using the A Feast for Crows expansion. It was a bit scarey, our first game without our “game master” Jeff. Luckily Jakub was more familiar with the rules than us. But still we would need to dive into the rules from time to time to clarify a point or two.

I was the Starks once more. So I was going to sweep down from the North. Diego was the Lannisters and moving out from the East. Jakub was the Arryn stuck between Diego and myself. That left Jonathan as Baratheon, and an auto victory point until that was stopped somehow.

Round one and Arryn attacked me! Wait that isn’t part of the plan or deal! We all attack King Joffrey. The King can’t be allowed to hold on to his throne. At least the Lannisters were staying on message. 

It would take two rounds before that Baratheon auto point was silenced for good.

Whilst fighting a rare guard action defending the North against invasion from the Arryn betrayers, I did manage to get a force together to sweep down and take on the tyrant. A rather successful foray I will say capturing Kings Landing (and completing a secret objective). 

There was some to and fro between Arryn and Lannisters as a side distraction to the Lannisters having a go at Baratheon.

These skirmishes outside of our coup attempt were down to trying to complete secret objectives. Curse them for stopping our upraising from totally crushing the Mad King Joffrey. 

Jonathan had admittedly given up part way through. He had three objectives he wasn’t able to complete. And if I had to criticise this expansion that would be it. Get stuck with secret objectives that you can’t do and that’s it you are screwed and can’t do anything about it. There should be some mechanism that allows you to dump a plan and redraw. Maybe add a penalty for doing so, such as loose an influence token, or military unit. I can see a house rule being added.

King Joffrey was on 4 points. While the rest of us were going to reach the magic total of seven victory points at the same time from our house objectives. So taking into account any secret objectives that could also be completed that turn, Jakub won with 10 points, Diego got 9, and I got 8.

The tyranny of King Joffrey had come to an end. There was a new King on the Iron Throne. A new date has been set to try and bring his rule to an end. We underlings of Westeros are very fickle, and like to keep our despots on their toes. 

Viva la Rebellion! 

Bluffing And Lunar Bases

Back after it’s break for a charity all night gaming session, it’s FEG@WL.

The three amigos met up to enjoy alcohol and good games. Or it could be the other way round. 

Our gaming started off with my game of the month for March, Mint Works.

I thought I was out of the running after turn one when Jonathan and Diego got two strong buildings straight off. But turn two I was going first, bought a one cost building and flipped it for a five cost using the swap meet location. I had the vault which with two plans gave me four points, plus the crane and iirc the landfill for eight points. The other two just didn’t get going and finished on four points each. I’m calling this a surprise victory. Jonathan had the Assembler from turn one. That’s a powerful card, autobuilding so so good.

Perudo, Liars Dice doesn’t matter what you call it, it was our second game of the evening. House of Borgia (which we like) had reminded us that Perudo is a fun game. So it was only a matter of time before we had it back to the table. Dice and cups, it doesn’t get simpler than that really for components to a game. Well maybe just a deck of cards.

But this bluffing game is just so much fun. Which you can tell from Jonathan’s thinky, bluffy face below.


It’s just one of those one more go type games. Rounds are fast and fun. We ended up playing three rounds of the game. Diego won one, I won two. Jonathan came close to winning but sadly didn’t. 

I feel guilty (I think that’s what I’m feeling, I’m not sure, I’ve not felt this way before) about writing about this next game we played. The reason is unless you backed the game on Kickstarter you won’t be able to get a copy! 

Oh the game? It’s one that has been in my pile of shame for about a year (minimum, since the Kickstarter completed basically) called Lunarchitects.

Why can’t you get a copy? Well it’s complicated. Lunarchitects is a rethemed updated version of Glen More (which is an impossible game to get in English).  And that’s where the complicated bit comes in. This wasn’t an official update, and it gets murky over whether the original designer gave his blessing etc. At one point Glen More’s publisher promised a reprint of the English version of the game (which I believe they still make noises about) but hasn’t happened yet. But the designer of Lunarchitects I think as part of heading off any legal stuff restricted things to Lunarchitects so it wouldn’t be hitting your nearest FLGS, and would only be for the backers of the project.

I also don’t think I’ve ever seen any copies up for grabs on the Facebook selling and trading pages I’m a member of. 

The production values for Lunarchitects is good. One of the nice touches is the insert. It organises everything perfectly. The tile organiser is even removable. 

If you like Glen More, then you will like this simple. We played with the suggested default end of round and game scoring. But you can change this. Which is a nice touch that changes tactics in game, and adds to the replayability.

Your starting tile is double sided, and you get to choose which sides starting bonus you want. Again a nice little touch.

The end of round scoring worked better for me. With it triggering when the last player to take their turn passes the start line.

The only thing that seemed a little messy the ending of the game and final round.

The iconography was simple and easy to pick up on the tiles. 

There is even a little expansion included that we didn’t play with. There is a fair bit of replayability and variety in this game.

Yeah we enjoyed the game. I surprised myself in winning! I wasn’t generating nearly enough resources as the others to buy tiles. So was going with free stuff. But still I was able to pull off combos, trigger tiles extra times. So it’s good to see that there can be a variety of tactics based on tiles bought to win by, and not just a who can get a resource engine going the quickest.

Another great evenings gaming, great company, great beverages. ‘Nuff said.

Do I have to tell you how I finished off the evening? Regular readers will know already. Oh ok I know you want me to admit it ended in an orgy of spiced lamb flesh and chilli sauce. It was greasy and I loved it! There I said it. Feel better?

Tomorrow it’s time to end the tyranny of King Joffrey in A Game of Thrones the Boardgame.

My Epic Long Friday!

My work day usually starts at approximately 5am, with me waking up to the days news on Radio 5 Live playing. This Friday it was 4:45am. So it was the tail end of Up All Night playing.

The dogs then get let out to answer the call of nature. I have a bath listening to my current audio book American Gods. Which I’m still listening to as I make my first coffee of the day using my Aeropress. I savour my coffee while watching the latest episode of Scandal, and eat a couple of chocolate chip brioche. 

After Mum collected the dogs I got dressed, packed my work stuff, and hit the road for work.

I’m listening to classic 8-bit chip tunes from the likes of Galway, Hubbard and Whittaker  for the Commodore 64 as I bounce around the Fenland back roads.

My second mug of coffee for the day is at work as I troll my friends with horror stories of my mums cooking. They aren’t biting today. I’m going to have to try harder.

My logic for the day is to stock up on calories for the nights endurance gaming! So I nip along to the college restaurant to buy a breakfast bap (sausage, bacon and egg). But I luck out, they are doing a full breakfast (add beans, mushrooms and fried bread to the mix) for £2.50. Fantastic value. 

The previous day the Rey starter for Star Wars Destiny had arrived. So I’d taken both starters and the playmat to work for myself and Dale to play lunchtime.

I’d been watching a lot of Destiny videos during the week to have a good idea of how to play the game.

Damn I hate you FFG. 
After our “learning” game I just want to get some boosters, crack them open, build some decks and play them.

So that may spoil how I feel about the game. But yes I liked it.

We were a bit slow playing, I think this was the first time Dale had played a game like this. But the game isn’t too complicated. There is a nice flow to the game. I take an action, you take an action, repeat.

I like the pass action, so you can wait and see. Well unless the other player also passes and that then ends the round and you are into upkeep. 

Having the base with an ability is cool. Plus all the mechanisms round it. From the roll off for who gets to select the base to use for the game (both players bring one to the table), the one selected chooses first player, and the player going second gets two shields. Then in the game claiming the base is an action, allowing you to use the bases ability, it then means you go first next round. However it also means you can not do any further actions that round. When to claim is a very tactical decision. Being first next round may be more important than still doing stuff in the current round.

What’s nice is you have that Magic/Netrunner construction element building your thirty card deck. Ok we didn’t get to do that because we were playing with starter sets. But you also have the dice element giving you that Dicemasters feel. For me this is a better Dicemasters. Which is a game I really enjoyed.

The two starters are great to play against each other. Why they only give you one Finn die I don’t know. His character can have two. Just having that bit more flexibility in the starters would have been good.

But still this game for me lives up to the hype. I’m hoping once supply issues have been solved this will be a regular thing between Dale and me.

Classes finish at 4pm. I packed my games I had at work that I thought I’d need over the Easter holidays. And then loaded my car up with my games and my gaming table that I use at work.

My drive home is a different route than in the morning. It’s still across the Fenland landscape but using the main artery. It’s not as busy in the evenings as it is in the mornings.

When I hit my home town, the Capital of the Fens, I pull into Lidls to stock up on supplies for the nights gaming. For £14 I got a lot of stuff. 

At home I quickly changed. Got a selection of games together to take with me. Loaded up the car, and headed off into the night to play games.


Earlier in the day I had promised that I would donate ten pounds of the realm if Jonathan didn’t play yellow all night. A true trial for him, because yellow is his favourite colour, and he always plays yellow if available. 

Chris had also made a commitment to pay a £1 for each game he lost. Would we be able to gang up and deny Chris wins for charity?

We knew Diego wasn’t going to arrive until between 7:30 and 8pm. So the nights gaming started off with a game of Mint Works.

It was the perfect game to start with. Quick to play, quick to teach. And the perfect duration, because Diego turned up whilst we were playing. But didn’t have long to wait because our game was near the end. 

I think this was the first time in the games I’ve played so far that’s ended with a draw. Which meant Chris and I had to go to the tie breakers to determine a winner. The first tie breaker was for the smallest neighbourhood gets the win. We drew that also. Then it went to who had the most mints left. Bugger Chris won the tie breaker, and the game.

Chris wins: 1 loses: 0

With the win stolen from me on a technicality, the only thing to console me was the amazing cake that Diego had bought with him that he’d made.

Our first big game of the night was Jonathan’s game of the year for 2016, The Voyages of Marco Polo. I totally screwed up my tactics for this game. Which was why I came last. Nearly lapped on the points front by Chris. Even now I’m disgusted at myself for how bad I did. I didn’t even have the excuse of being tired! But still another victory for Chris, another pound lost.

Chris wins: 2 loses: 0


Our second big game of the night was Great Western Trail. I got my tactics spot on in this game. I bought only two additional cows. Instead I went for station bonuses, using certificates to boost my money at the market, and maxed out on the engineer and the railroad guy, and building buildings. For me Great Western Trail played much better as a four player game than a two. Oh I won this one. Making up for my poor effort in Marco Polo. 

Chris wins: 2 loses: 1


Great Western had taken us from about half ten to gone one in the morning. We were going strong. Not a sleepy head insight! 

Saloon Tycoon was next to the table. Once again I under performed and came in a miserable last. I could possibly use the excuse I was tired to explain it away. Or I was still in shock I’d won Great Western Trail. But it was during our play of Saloon Tycoon that Diego gave us our comedic moment of the night when (and I paraphrase here) he said “feck off”. It appeared to be aimed at Chris who had just taken a card or character from him, but in reality it was Diego swearing at a poor card draw (iirc). But it was hilarious and the source of much merriment at his expense.

Chris wins: 3 loses: 1

We decided to switch it down a gear during the early hours of the night by playing Imhotep. Tactically I was awful once more. This game night seems to have a running theme of me screwing up my tactics. But at least this time Diego took the honours, denying Chris a victory.

Chris wins: 3 loses: 2

You know what’s a good idea at gone three in the morning? Having Chris teach everyone else a new game. That game being  Mission: Red Planet. I’d like to play this when I’m less tired before saying much about it. I have a thought or two on it. But I’d like to make an opinion not clouded by lack of sleep.  But the winning machine of the night Chris walked away with the win.

Chris wins: 4 loses: 2


Our final game of the night was The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I did very well on this, surprisingly well considering. And only just lost to you guessed it Chris. 

Chris wins: 5 loses: 2

So our 7pm to 7am gaming session for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day ended. No one had any sleep. No bad tempers due to lack of sleep. Everyone had a great time playing some awesome games (none of that Hasbro stuff). We raised some money for a good cause. And I got some of Diego’s cake to take home.

There is only one way to wrap up such a trial of human endurance. Yep Jonathan and I headed off to the local Wetherspoons for their generic signature fried breakfast. Not shown the side order of black pudding I ordered.


After stuffing our faces we headed off to our respective homes.

Once home and reunited with the Wolfpack I ended my sleep deprivation trial of 28.5 hours by falling asleep (a three hour nap).

I know these posts are only worth reading so that you can get to the pictures of me at the end. So I’m not going to disappoint. Thanks Jonathan for taking them.

At time of writing we raised £130 plus the gift aid on top of that for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day. 

Big Board Game Night Tonite!

Tonight’s the night.

Yep tonight a few members of The Fenland Gamers board gaming group will gather together to play games and raise money for the NSPCC, as our part of their Hasbro sponsored Big Board Game Day.

We will be rolling dice, moving tokens and drafting cards from between 7pm tonight and 7am Saturday morning. 

Yep that’s 12 whole hours of cardboard inspired fun. Which is something I haven’t done before.

If you’d like to donate money to the NSPCC to show support for our mad plan, we have a Just Giving page set up HERE.

There will be photos from throughout the night on my Instagram account, which you should be able to see HERE. I might even do the odd live stream as well! But no promises on that.