Category Archives: Fenland Gamers

Fenland Gamers

Edmunds Delivery Service 

Last night an assassin managed to stop Jonathan and Chris attending the weekly Friday evening meet up. Luckily Edmund and I have far superior ninja skills and managed to dodge the assassins attempts on us.

Our first game of the evening was a game I’ve been wanting to get to the table since I purchased it. That game is Broom Service. A game I’ve referred to as Kiki’s Delivery Service the boardgame! 

Seeing as this was our first play and we were learning from the rule book, we played the basic game.

This was despite my loss a nice game.

The pick up and deliver aspect with the correct coloured potions having to go to correct coloured castles. Added to the fact some of the castles once delivered to are blocked for the duration of the game, is fun.  The delivering and blocking a castle does add a kind of take that, foil your opponents plans element to the game.

I really liked the action selection process. Each player has ten cards to choose four from. Those four cards will be the possible actions you take that round. Each card has a brave action and a cowardly action. Then the starting player selects one of their four cards and plays it. When they play the card they select which of the two actions on the card they are going to do. If it was the cowardly one they donthe action immediately. If it was the brace action they may not get to do it. They have to wait and see. Now one player order the other players also have to play the same card if they selected it in their four cards. When they play the card they two have to decide which action to do. If it’s the brave action the previous player who selected brave gets to do nothing that turn. It’s only the last player to play that card and selected the brave action that gets to do it. All the others that played it and selected brace get to do nothing. So you have a push your luck element here. Plus this whole selecting cards trying to choose cards that have actions you want to do, but also having to work out which actions other players maybe selecting. Add in a dummie hand for lower player counts adds even more things to consider. Play an action that matches one of the dummie actions and you lose 3 points. And these change each round. Yeah I like this mechanic a lot.

I also like round cards that add some new condition/rule to that round. These can have positive and negative consequences. Plus these are a great way to track the seven rounds.

The art is a lovely cartoon like style. Lovely counters for the potions and witches. It’s an attractive game. 

Luckily for me Edmund didn’t lap me on the score track, that would be embarrassing. He only nearly doubled my score. 

Our final game saw us slowing the place down, going back to art school in Kanagawa. I’m not going to say much about this. I’ve spoken about it the past. It’s a beautiful looking game, with some lovely mechanics and decisions. Sadly I lost to Edmund again. 

A great evening gaming with a really great guy. 

September ’17 Monthly Meet Up

It was the second Wednesday of the month last night which means it can only be one thing for Fenland Gamers, yep the monthly meet up.

Our first game of the evening after our little chatter about stuff was a recent arrival in Gavin’s collection that he got in a trade, but a long time favourite, Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG).

It felt a little weird playing the game without the awesome playmat for the game. But then this was Gavin’s copy not mine. It’s funny really because I nearly threw this plus the expansion, and Tiny Epic Quest into my bag for the evening.

Four player TEG is probably the sweet spot for this game. Five players we found in the past was too many. But then again this was more of a “gamer” group playing this time, unlike the time we played with five, which was mainly casual gamers.

After losing a battle with Diego for a seven point planet, there was no stopping him and his push to victory. By the time it was his turn again, he was able to complete a second seven pointer and trigger the end game. That meant Jonathan and Gavin had one more go to bolster their points, and hopefully steal the victory from Diego. In reality the only one with a shot of doing that was Gavin. Jonathan was way to far behind to do that. Gavin gave it a good shot. He was able to orbit and colonise a five point planet on his and Jonathan’s turns. Pretty impressive. But sadly not good enough to stop Diego claiming the victory. The important thing here is that I was not last. That honour fell to Jonathan.

Our second and final game of the evening was Dice Town. This is a really nice game. I played it aggressively to start with. I was helped by some great early rolls. So by aggressive I mean paying to keep more than the one dice, thus cutting down on the chances others had on building good poker hands, or getting useful dice. I think on the second round I rolled a full house. Four dollars thrown in. The others get one more roll and have to live with it. It was fun to play like this, but back fired when I had no cash, and was denied for several rounds from getting any. Which limits this more aggressive approach big time.

I had an early advantage for sure. But that soon eroded away, and unnoticed by the others Diego seemed to be amassing a lot of cards and possibly victory points. By the end we were all positive that Diego had won. The biggest shock really was that it was by a smaller margin than we thought it would be. The important thing for Jonathan was that I was last.

Dice Town is really nice, it’s just a shame that the expansions for it are so hard to get hold of.

This was once more another great evening of gaming with some great folks.

Married Couple Fight Over Iron Throne

It’s funny how things work out. I hadn’t planned it this way but we played A Game of Thrones the board game the opening weekend of season 7.  And now we were playing the game once more straight after (well the Saturday after) the season 7 finale. 

Those gathered to compete for the Iron Throne, or with delusions that they had a claim to the throne were myself, Jeff, Diego and Monia (aka Mrs Toaster – I do hope Monia doesn’t mind the nickname because I’m bad at pronouncing some names, so I do almost everything possible to avoid struggling to say them and embarrassing myself).

I had drawn House Arryn, Jeff was the Starks, Monia was the Lannisters and that leaves Diego with Baratheon. Yep we once again were playing with the A Feast for Crows expansion. 

Monia hadn’t played AGoT before, so we didn’t use the Tides of Battle cards. Mind you I haven’t used them yet. And I think I’m about ready to try them. Next time. Jeff also acted as a “consultant” to Monia when choosing a card to play in battles against Diego.

With Diego being Baratheon, and Monia controlling the Lannister forces, husband and wife were pitted against each other right from the start. Kingslanding is critical to both of their house objectives.

I was playing House Arryn for the first time. My house objective needed me to have more power tokens than the other houses at the end of each round along with control of the Eyrie. The special abilities on the combat cards for Arryn are slanted in aiding this. I managed to pull this off once, the first round, along with completing one other objective. That was it my total points for the whole game. 

While I was waiting for the opportune moment (which in the end never came) to snatch Kingslanding off the warring couple to gain another objective and two points. I was trading blows with Jeff and his Stark forces.

Jeff did query his house objective. But we couldn’t remember how we ruled it. So he did a quick search on bgg and couldn’t find an answer. So we went with he had to hold Winterfell and five castles/strongholds.

The Westeros cards only came up once with the opportunity to bid on the influence tracks. But I did get to steal the sword off Jeff after we successfully defended the only wildlings attack. I could move to the top of the influence track of my choice after bidding the most. It’s as if I knew what would happen before hand if we defeated them, and to put lots in. So I took the sword.

I had three crappy objectives that I wouldn’t achieve. I wasn’t triggering my house objective. I needed to be churning my house combat cards more than I was to do that. I cycled the deck once during the game. It wasn’t good enough. The others were chalking up victory points left right and centre. There was no hope in hell I’d catch them up. But despite that I was having a blast.

In the end Diego made it across the finish line to grab the Iron Throne.

All hail King Diego. Who we hope survives the many assassination attempts we are sure his Queen will be making to grab the throne for herself. 

Epilogue:

Many many hours later, minutes before midnight Jeff finally mastered Google and found out he could have won! We decided wrongly on his house objective. It was five Castles/strongholds including Winterfell. So potentially Jeff could have claimed the Iron Throne if his Google skills had been better. But I suppose it’s hard using smart phones stuck up in the cold north. Cell reception must be a nightmare!

Dueling decks

Americans do like their special shopping days like Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Now for the second year running Disney give the world Force Friday. A day when all the new Star Wars related toys and merchandise are released to the world.

A couple of days before Force Friday hit I did see a rumour that FFG would be announcing a mystery Star Wars related game. Which the poster of the rumour said would be Star Wars: Destiny duel decks.

Come Friday morning or Force Friday morning if you will, FFG announce what is basically a box with two starter sets in it. There is a mix of new cards exclusive to this two-player set and existing cards from the two current Destiny sets.

Like the first two starter sets the decks are only 20 cards each. Plus two characters and a battlefield for each deck. Once again great for learning with, but not tournament legal. So a new player couldn’t buy this, pick the deck they wanted to play, and started playing in a store game night. Unlike the original starter sets, because there are two decks here, it might be possible to take some cards from the other deck to make a match legal deck. I’ve not seen the full card list yet.

From what I’ve seen for existing players of Destiny to get a play set (2 of each card and dice) you will need to buy two copies of the two-player set. Why? Because there is only one copy of each card and die. Which puts the cost for players that way inclined at $60 instead of a casual players $30 for one copy of the two-player game.

Still there are some interesting new cards in this new release. Enough to justify laying out $60? Now that’s a big question.

You can read the full announcement HERE.

Last night while Jonathan is off playing boardgames in a field somewhere up North, and living under canvas for the weekend, Chris and I met up to play games at the usual Friday night spot.

So I introduced Chris to The 7th Continent. Our first game ended pretty quickly. We were playing once again the suggested curse for a first play. However we’d only explored our second map tile when we met our untimely demise having failed to out swim a shark!

Once we recovered from the shock of our sudden death we reset the game and started again. We did better than our first game. But we have hit a brick wall on progressing any further. Luckily it happened at an appropriate point in time that we were going to have to stop playing anyway. I think it’s a good sign that Chris suggested we used the games save feature to save where we were. So next time we play we can pick up exactly where we left off. In fact with the way the game has been designed other players can join in the fun whenever they want. It’s nice that the designers have thought of this sort of thing.

Ok thanks it for this post. I’ll be back tomorrow with news of who sits on the Iron Throne.

Who needs cake?

It’s been an awesome bank holiday weekend for gaming. Three days of playing games that culminated with the second birthday celebration of the long weekend (this time Edmunds birthday) and a game of Scythe.

Apparently Edmund and Charlie haven’t gotten over the “betrayal” Friday night.

Whilst Edmund and I were both playing one of the “new” factions from Invaders from Afar (I was Clan Albion, Edmund was Togawa Shogunate). Charlie was playing one of the original five factions Polania.

Which meant Charlie and I were next to each other on the board, and Edmund was all on his lonesome on the opposite side of the map.

 
With Charlie so close he was able to block me off from getting an early factory card. Starting with zero combat cards made breaking out hard. Which allowed Edmund to get to the factory for first pick and plant an annnoying trap on that space.

By the time Charlie realised the threat of Edmund it was too late. Edmund had his engine all in place and sprinted to the finish line.

After the scoring was done Edmund had thrashed us both. But justice was done with Charlie coming last. 

A great afternoons gaming celebrating Edmunds birthday. Thank you Edmund for inviting me. I had a great time. 

Oh btw if you ever hear me say the words used for the title of this post or “I’ll have a decaf coffee” these are my code phrases for “I’m being held against my will and need rescuing”.

He’s back (the man behind the mask)

Come back later (this evening later, about to go off and play Memoir 44 Overlord) to read this post when I will have added some words about last nights game of Mansions of Madness Second Edition

In the meantime here is the collage of us playing the game as a teaser, and an embedded video of the classic Alice Cooper song I’ve used for this posts title.


Welcome back. I’ve had a great playing Memoir 44, but you can read about that tomorrow. What you really want to know about now is last nights game of Mansions of Madness.

Long story short I liked it. I had a blast playing the game. Especially from how I won the game. More on that in a bit.

Naturally with the game being app driven, and only playable with the app, the likely hood of it being added to my collection is very slim. However the game plays really well with the app. I’d go as far to say it’s a better experience than playing Descent with its app.

We certainly had our talk about moment. Early in the game I found a machete in a pile of gardening junk. At the the time I joked how I was a fan of the Friday the Thirteenth films and Jason. Two or three turns later in the power cut that hit the mansion I found a gun. I was happy with my character and his ability to fend off any monsters. I even had a couple of spells. 

The mission we played was more like a who done it, or mini cluedo. We were not fighting any monsters. It was more investigating, looking for clues/evidence. After our “employer” had been murdered we had to find his killer. Thanks to my “oh she is guilty” and wrongly accusing some-one we angered the ghost of the dead person. Which after he attacked myself and Charlie’s characters left us both insane. Which gave us both secret objectives to do. Mine was to be with one other investigator at the start of my turn with a bladed weapon to win, and everyone else would lose. I thought I’d got it. Next round I go first, I win. But Charlie beat me to it, he ran away from the ghost and me! Luckily with the help of the others Edmund was persuaded to join me in the same space on his turn. Then all attention was on me for my turn. I revealed my card. Surprise I win!!! There was some disbelief around the table about what had just happened. I had won a co-op game!!!

I’d definitely play the game again. 

Curses

It was release day on Netflix for the latest instalment of the MCU, The Defenders.

I’m on holiday, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe, and the Netflix handling of the characters they have been given. Naturally a large chunk of my Friday was given over to binge watching the eight episodes that make up season one of The Defenders.

On Thursday I had already laid the ground for an undisturbed viewing by issuing a decree/warning that if Mum came round and interrupted my watching if the series she would be put “to the pain”.

The Defenders was only eight episodes, easily binged in a day. 

***SPOILER ALERT*** 

I loved it. Apparently some online are complaining it takes them to long to meet up. But I liked the pacing, and the time spent catching up with where the heroes were in their respective lives, and moving them towards that moment they start working together.

Ok the ending although emotional, lost a bit of the “did he survive?”, and then the reveal, because I knew there was a third season for the character (which has been teased months ago on Netflix).

I liked the interaction between the characters. Jessica Jones and her trolling of the others with her quips is fun. Signourney Weaver is great as the main big bad. 

I look forward to seeing the fallout and new big bads in the next respective series of the characters. Plus I’d like to think we will get a second series of The Defenders.

In the evening Jonathan and I met up for FEG@WL. 

First to the table was my newly arrived Kickstarter backed copy of The 7th Continent

Jonathan and I started our “learning” adventure within the 7th Continent by trying to remove “The Voracious Goddess” curse (as recommended by the rule book). We were adventuring using the “normal” mode! But because I had mixed in all the expansions, it meant we could see devourers (from the Fear the Devourers expansion) and extreme weather conditions  (from the Facing the Elements expansion). The other expansions were curses so unless we selected them to remove we shouldn’t see them.

Jonathan and I both back in our younger days played/read the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books. Jonathan I think is a much bigger fan than me. But we both have fond memories of them. I’m not going to waste time explaining what these books are, if you don’t know, then click this LINK to find out.

At a basic level The 7th Continent is these choose your own adventure books as a tabletop game. Unlike the books which are a solo experience, The 7th Continent plays solo or upto four players. The difficulty of the game can be changed, it’s possible to save a game, you can add in stuff like weather and the devourers to add more variety. Plus playing the same curse will not be exactly the same each time. Oh and players can drift in and out of solving a curse. Which is fantastic for a group playing the game. A member goes on holiday, you remove their character and their skill cards (there is a couple of other things to do as well with their items and skills), when they return you add the character and their skills back in.

I liked this a lot. I loved the social side of working through the curse together, discussing actions and who takes them etc. Jonathan I think sees this as more a game he’ll play solo. Which is something I will do.  But I want that group, shared experience. So will try and get a group of hardy adventurers together.

The expandability of this game is nearly limitless. I think you’d be more likely to get bored with the system first.

In this “learning” game, we got one of the weather effects as an event. We came across a baby devourer. Which we killed, failed a test, and while fighting it’s much much bigger mother, ran out our action deck and drew a curse from the discard pile instantly losing. Before that Jonathan and I narrowly failed to swim across to the next terrain tile. I think there are many many more memorable moments like this ahead. 

You will be banishing cards from the game. So decisions will have an impact later on. It’s almost legacy like, but without the card destruction. Which means you can reset at any time. I like that the best of both worlds. 

The save game ability actually has to be used! The designer recommends game sessions should be between one to two hours. Saving will allow hunted animals to return/restock for example.

I keep wanting to compare this with Portal Games Robinson Crusoe. Which is a game I like. But I think this is a more elegant design that does similar things but without the complication, and I’d say more accessible. 

I’ve only scratched the surface of this game. There is a lot of depth here. Oh production quality is really high. I’d like the minis to have been a little bigger, but they are I guess the right size for the cards/tiles.

I think The 7th Continent could potentially be this years Gloomhaven! Although it doesn’t seem to getting as much buzz online at the moment. However there is enough demand that they are running another Kickstarter in September for those that missed this one that has just concluded. There will also be as part of that new Kickstarter some new expansions. So I’ll pick them up, along with a shed load of card sleeves.

Just get this when the next Kickstarter starts up. You won’t regret it. 

Jonathan taught me his latest game and Kickstarter backed game, Go nuts for Donuts. Which Jonathan likes more than Sushi Go. Jonathan described it to me as like Sushi Go, but without the drafting. Drafting isn’t one of Jonathan’s favourite mechanics. I did troll Jonathan at the end when discussing the game with that the designer like the designer of Barenpark took an existing game and removed the fun! But it’s not too far from the truth I suppose. I do like drafting. However the replacement mechanic of placing a number card to select the card you want isn’t a bad replacement. Drafting light?

Go nuts for Donuts is ok. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. Two players isn’t the best showcase for the game I think. It definitely didn’t excite me like Sushi Go did when I first played it. But then my first plays of Sushi Go were as a four player game. Would I have felt the same if it had been just two players? Most likely not.

I would give this another shot with the higher player count. It’s definitely not been shown in its best light as a two player game. I love Love Letter, but like Go Nuts for Donuts it’s not a great two player game. So maybe after playing at a higher player count I’d be more positive about the game. 

After we finished playing we chewed the fat for a while, righting the wrongs of the gaming world. We then ended the evening the traditional way with “meat”, salad and chilli sauce.

UPDATE: kindly provide by Jonathan

Died in Winter – Again!

27 volumes of the Walking Dead graphic novels are sitting on my shelf. Which will be joined by a 28th in October. That’s a lot of zombies and people dying over the years.   And I have to be honest I nearly did stop reading the series until they did something that added a breathe of fresh air to the story. So it’s safe to say I’m a fan.

When it comes to the franchise appearing on the table I’ve only been tempted by the reskin of Bang! the Dice Game that was done. That was mainly because I thought it would appeal theme wise to my students. The other attempts at bringing it to the table haven’t grabbed me. I think mainly because other zombie games actually capture the feeling of the show much better.

For instance Zombicide captures nicely that feeling of your group of survivors fighting the zombie horde onslaught whilst trying to achieve some mission, like finding food. Then Dead of Winter also does a great job of capturing the feel of the show, especially with the traitor element. Whilst Zombicide is more about combat. Dead of Winter is more making sure your colony survives by scavenging for resources, and stopping crises happening. All the time not knowing if one of your group is trying to sabotage things. When the second expansion comes out later in the year you will have the colonies of both the Dead of Winter games competing against each other. Just like the colonies/factions warring in The Walking Dead.

Edmund, Justin, Jason and myself took on the bleak hopeless challenge of surviving the zombie apocalypse in Dead of Winter.

We’d started so well. First two rounds we had gained a morale, recruited a crap load of additional survivors. In fact out of the handful of times I’ve played the game, I can’t remember a game with such a great start. Definitely never had so many survivors. Every search seemed to throw up more survivors. I think we had over 10 extra ones!

Then the third round seemed to be going the same way. Disaster struck. Justin failed an exposure roll. A survivor got bitten. Justin had the lowest ranked character, so decided he would try and save his character. Sadly that roll failed. Two morale gone. Another character moved between locations, another bite. I tried saving two of my characters but they died from zombie bites. Within two player turns we had lost six survivors, the colony morale was devasted. Reeling from shock we failed to feed the colony, and failed the crisis. We were down to one morale.

Unsurprisingly we didn’t survive the next round. We weren’t able to complete the crisis and lost our final morale point.

We may have got decimated. Failed spectacularly. But we had a blast.

Looking forward to our next attempt at surviving the zombie apocalypse.

Micro Update 12/8/17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monthly Meetup August 17

It was the time of month once again when those Fenland Gamers with nothing better to do, couldn’t think up a convincing excuse, or not imprisoned by their toaster partner, turned up to play games mid week.

6 is an odd number! Not many games play that many that don’t take an age to play. So we split into two groups for the evening.

Jeff and I played a learning game of my newest arrival, hot off the Kickstarter fulfilment wagon, Tiny Epic Quest. Whilst the other group played Five Tribes and Kingdomino.

I think most gamers (here I’m using the term to describe those that play video games) will have a fond memory or two of playing at least one of the Zelda games. Mine goes way back into the distance mists of time to the GameBoy, 1988/89 and The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening.

I loved the game. Since then I’ve played all the Nintendo hand held versions of Zelda. Plus some of the main console versions. I know Nath loves the games too. The latest Zelda offering on the Switch is one of the main reasons I want a Switch over the other current gen consoles.

But what has all this got to do with Tiny Epic Quest? 

Well for starters more than one owner of the game online has refered to it as Tiny Epic Zelda.

The art of the game although lovely and bright, definitely evokes the look of Zelda. Plus there is a game variant included called Gloomfall that flips over the map tiles to a darker looking art style. Mimicking the dark world of A Link To The Past. 

You complete quests that give you magical items to equip your heroes with. There is even a boomerang! 

When you are moving your heroes around the map it feels like you are wandering round an overworld map.

This sandbox style game, feels so much like a Zelda style boardgame. I think this is going to be the closest we get to one without the Zelda name attached to it. 

I love the ITEMeeples, and being able to attach the items you are able to earn through completing quests. Having legendary weapons that you get by completing temples, and “regular” items from quest cards. Is a great idea. The fact that players have to complete different temples in different order is a nice touch. And how awesome do the ITEMeeples look holding equipment?

When I was reading the rule book earlier in the day, I thought is this going to be one of those games that finishes too earlier? Where  you want the game to go on for one or two turns more so you can do everything you wanted to. After playing it. Yep it is. 5 turns is not enough. Jeff is right you could house rule a longer game. But I’d love to have seen something like Xia where you can decide how long a game you want to play. How you complete 10 quests or kill 10 goblins I don’t know in 5 turns to get maximum points on those tracks.

I love the push your luck element of the night phase. Rolling those dice on your turn. Hoping for the right sides. But it carries over to the rolls of the other players still adventuring. Being able to use the symbols that allow you to attack, or explore temples not only on your roll but on the other players rolls, love it. It’s the only way to complete temples or kill goblins. But it carries that risk you will take damage and get exhausted and lose all progress that turn.

There is a lot of replayability from the random map tile positioning, to the quests and which ones come out. Which dictates what items you can equip with. 

I like the taking turns selecting a movement action, with other players having the choice  of following it or idling and gaining a health or power back if they have a hero in a castle.

Like the other Tiny Epic games, the only tiny thing about the game is the box size. Once set up this takes up a large space on the table.

I think this might be my favourite Tiny Epic game pushing Tiny Epic Galaxies into second place. It played really well with two players. I’m keen to try it with the higher player counts. I think the night phase will be even more riskier, because it will be longer before you are able to rest. But you might be able to complete more also. I’m glad I ordered the playmat for this now (pictured below, and link HERE to get it). It looks amazing doesn’t it? Gamelyn really do a nice job on the playmat side for their games. 


Let’s finish off this post with a nice photo of me taken by Jonathan.