Category Archives: Fenland Gamers

Fenland Gamers

The NSPCC Big Board Game Day All Nighter – What to play?

I’ve spoken about the first world problem of what games to take for a game night before. 

But with two weeks left before The Fenland Gamers do their bit for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day event (it’s the 31/3/17). Thoughts have turned towards what to play during our twelve hour gaming session running from 7pm to 7am. Yep an all nighter.

Jonathan started the whole discussion off yesterday with his post on the Facebook event page we set up. 

But the choice of what to play is so hard. Obviously with such a long gaming session planned we can go for meatier games. But during the early hours of the night will we be lucid enough to play something complicated? 

The all nighter is also the ideal opportunity to get some of those games we love that haven’t been to the table for a while back to the table.

We have some hard decisions to make. Two weeks to chop and change our choices. 

Plus as Jonathan pointed out we only have twelve hours of play time! 

Oh the indecision ahead of us. Joy!

Naturally we are doing all this for charity, having fun playing games with friends is just a side benefit. If you’d like to make a donation/sponsor our horrible tedious game playing for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day you can visit our Just Giving page HERE. Thank you for your generosity. 

Tribes of the Mad King

How did your weekend start? 

Mine started off as usual. I got home, threw two games into a bag, got into my car, and pulled out of our tiny unadopted road.

Things deviated from the usual Friday night routine more or less within five seconds of the junction to our road.

I saw the following scene. A car stopped at an angle in the road. A grey hound lying on the pavement with a woman knelt beside it.  I thought maybe the dog had collapsed whilst being walked, and the woman needed help. I couldn’t explain the car. Or that the dog had got out and the owner had gone looking for the dog and found it. Truth be told I had no idea what had happened. But I did know a dog and it’s owner were in need of help. So I stopped to help.

It turned out the woman wasn’t the owner but had just hit the dog with her car. It had just run out into the road. 

There was a nasty gash on the front of the dog. It was important to keep the dog still. While the driver was looking for a vets number to call, I tried keeping the dog still, calm. I used a hanky to try and apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.

While this was going on a couple of the drivers colleagues pulled up and offered help. As did the owner of the dog. The owner had another dog with her. The hit dog had been “spooked” while the owner was trying to pick up its poo, and ran away.

The vet wouldn’t come out to the dog. The mountain had to go to Mohammad. The dog would need more than my blood soaked hanky on its wound to allow it to be moved.  I took off my hoodie and we used that to make a slightly improved bandage. The drive and colleagues with the owner got the dog on a blanket and moved it to the back of a car. 

I handed over a spare blanket I had in the back of my car, just in case it was needed by then. One of the colleagues offered to take the owner and her dog to the vets.

They departed off to the vets,  which is where I leave the story. 

I have no idea what happened to the dog. I’m hoping the vet was able to save the dog. A bit of me is scared to try and find out. I don’t want there to be a sad end to the story. If I contact the vet to find out, that illusion of a happy ending is shattered. 

I loved Lassie movies as a kid. Yeah those old black and whites. But they would always have me in tears. Mind you so would movies like King Kong when Kong dies. You should see me at the end of the animated classic All Dogs Go To Heaven. I’m a mess.

When I arrived at The White Lion I went straight to the men’s room to wash off the blood from my right hand where I had been holding the hanky on the wound of the dog. Playing with a bloody hand might have freaked people out.

Our two games for the evening were two great games, Five Tribes and The Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Our first game of the evening was a favourite, Five Tribes, that hadn’t seen nearly enough time on the table. But that’s the draw back of having a collection full of great games. Too many great games, not enough time. It’s a first world problem. 

We played just the base game, no expansions. But we could have, but didn’t.

Early on I got a djinn that stopped my yellow and white meeples being assassinated from in front of me. Then I got one that made all my yellow meeples worth three points instead of one. I even assassinated a yellow meeple in front of Jonathan to make sure I had the majority. That’s ten points.

But it was obvious that Chris was going to win once he started to make use of his djinn ability and was placing the tents into his tile that could take tents. He had six on one space! Jonathan had gone the items route to scoring. Which is a route I don’t usually follow.

I think I only placed a couple of camels compared to everyone else. I used the auction stage to try and push up the price of first place and drain the others of money/points. Which worked sometimes, especially when the others were paying eighteen coins to get first place.

There was some serious analysis paralysis (ap) going on at times. Probably one of the few games we play where this goes on. Maybe we should introduce a timer to combat this instead of our current method of scarcasm. Which truth be told only really lengths the time eaten away by the ap.

Still a great game, in which Chris won, Jonathan came second. So I technically failed the “if I can’t win, come higher than Jonathan” goal, because I came third. 

Our second game of the evening was a new favourite of the clubs The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. 

This game is just so much fun. I was very focused this time. Stuck to my initial bonus cards. Got some nice tile scoring combos going. Spent a large portion of the game in front. I got lucky once or twice in that I only once had to spend a turn taking money. And the turns when I had a couple thousand in front of me I was left something I could buy that fitted in with my plans!

Somehow Jonathan amassed an incredible amount of money. That was worth 7 points to him in the end scoring. 7 valuable points that moved him from joint last to third.

I came second to Diego by three points. 

Do I need to say how the evening ended? Oh ok greasy slices of seasoned “lamb” meat delicately thrown into a wrap with a light “seasonal salad”, and a spicy chilli sauce.
Somehow I’d gone the whole day without watching Iron Fist on Netflix. When I woke up it hadn’t been released yet, then work got in the way! But once home and reunited with my wolf pack, it was time to snuggle up and start binging on the latest Marvel superhero to hit the small screen.

FEG@WL 10Mar17 

Life is full of hard decisions, such as which games to take to the game night. Luckily earlier in the day that decision had been made for me when Chris had said he’d got his copy of Great Western Trail. It was a no brainer. Yes we would like to play one of the current hot games!

I traveled light and took Mint Works and Archer: Once You Go Blackmail

Jonathan and I had a quick game of Mint Works while we waited for Chris to arrive.  It really is a nice little filler game. It’s what Nantucket should have aspired to be. But let’s not dwell on that train wreck. What is important is that I won this game of Mint Works.

Chris arrived mid game. But because this is such a fast game to play, especially two player, he didn’t have long to wait for my glorious victory.

Just after setting up Great Western Trail it dawned on Jonathan that we wouldn’t be finished in time for his very important date. So we quickly adjusted the setup for two players.

Jonathan left us knowing he now had to convince us at a later date to bring two games he really wanted to try back to the table. Ok we’d take no convincing, but in reality we’d probably make Jonathan beg. It would be the right thing to do until we usurp him from his Iron Throne.

So Great Western Trail, what do I think?

I like it. Like it a lot. I enjoyed it much more than A Feast For Odin.

I liked the deck building aspect, combined with hand management. Your deck represents your herd of cattle. Your hand the cattle you are trying to deliver to Kansas that run of the trail. When you hit Kansas you need unique types of cattle to score. But during the trail you need pairs, or specific types to trigger a tiles ability. 

The tile placing part is cool. And placing them presents some cool tactical decisions. Which will not only influence the route you take to Kansas but influence the choices of the other players.

You also get to recruit people, these people enable you to buy better cattle, build better tiles, or move your train more spaces.

As you deliver your herd to a city some cool stuff happens. Which includes deciding how you are going to upgrade your player board. Pulling into a train station first allows you gain an instant bonus plus an ongoing one. 

That’s just scratching the surface of the game. There is a lot of depth to this game.

Ok so there is one thing I didn’t like. In a two player game, if the second player triggers the end game, player one gets an extra turn.

It felt odd and wrong. The majority of games usually end so that everyone has had an equal number of turns. 

But the Great Western Trail way means player 1 gets a chance to score more points, which in our game was an extra thirteen points. Which made Chris’s margin of victory even greater than it should have been!

One extra coin at the start for the second player isn’t enough compensation for this. I think this will need a house rule to “fix”.

I’m still undecided whether there should be player aids for this game. I think I’m leaning towards yes there should be.

It really has been great that Chris joined our group. He may correct me on this but I think he might have an addiction issue for the hobby like Jonathan and myself. And he seems to be buying the latest hit games also. Which means my bank account looks a little bit healthier. Plus Chris will most likely cave and back CMoNs latest Kickstarter project Rising Sun. The spiritual successor to Blood Rage. Which would allow me to keep my blood oath of hate against CMoN. 

So Oracle of Delphi and Terraforming Mars to play and that will be the hottness of last year tried. I must do a look at the current bgg hotness list, it seems about the right time to do it again.

After losing to Chris, instead of the traditional meat orgy in a wrap, I went straight home to Strider. Strider had a bit of an issue with his back legs. So I wanted to be back for him.

March 2017 Monthly Meetup 

Once again it’s been a quiet week post wise here on the blog. That might be due to being rather busy at work this week. Certainly getting their monies worth out of me for sure.

A month passes pretty fast. It only seems like last week that it was the last monthly  meet up. Time flies fast when you are old like me!

Our first game of this months meet up was Starving Artists.

This Kickstarter project had arrived the day of the meet up, sitting there all packaged up, waiting for me to open it up. There was a pleasant surprise in the box it came in. Next to the sealed game was a play mat. I don’t remember ordering the play mat. But it’s something I would do. In fact as I wrote this bit I just popped over to the Kickstarter page to check what I had pledged for. I had selected the pledge level that gave me the game, play mat and all downloadable content.

That last bit has me intrigued about what downloadable content there will be. Now I’m going to have to go back and look through the campaign to find out what was said/promised. My memory is so bad. They were probably talking about print ‘n play.

I have to say this is a very pretty game. From the cute food shape player counters, and carrot shaped first player marker, to the beautiful art that has been chosen for the ninety plus cards. Mind you I love the play mat, it looks awesome.

The production quality of the whole game is very high. The linen finish on the cards, the wooden tokens, the box for the game with the player score track on it. It’s really nice.

I like that on the play and player mats where you have the colours of the cubes, you also get told how many of that cube there are. But that sort of help is all over the place. On the score track there are reminders of the game end conditions, and what happens when collecting cubes when selling a painting. On the play mat there is a reminder for spending two cubes to clear the market. Touches like this are very much appreciated.

Jonathan thought that using the first player counter to track morning/afternoon and evening superfluous. But I liked it. I can see people forgetting where they are in the sequence of the day.

Jonathan also didn’t like the collection of paint rule from the paint market when selling a painting. Basically it’s a round robin thing. The player with the highest value painting takes four cubes, then the second highest value takes two cubes, while the third takes one cube. Then you repeat until either everyone has taken the amount of paint cubes they are allowed to collect, or there are no more cubes left. So it is possible that a person gets no cubes because there are not many cubes currently in the market, or they get less than they should, while the other player gets more. I can see his point kind of. But I didn’t have an issue with this, if it was a choice between getting something or getting nothing. I’d take getting something every time.

I liked the multiple end conditions. So it could be a certain points target being reached (depending on how many are playing), or a certain number of paintings sold by a player, or a player starves to death. If one of those conditions are met, then the player with the highest score wins. You really do need to be aware of the other players and how they are doing on those fronts. Is it worth the player dying because they are in the lead, and they will win after the extra day is played by the survivors? Or are they near to completing that final picture to sell and reach that target. In our first game I triggered the end game by selling six paintings.

I liked the market place for the paintings. It’s one of those market places where new entries to the market start at the highest cost to buy, and gradually get cheaper as lesser cost ones get bought, and they move down the market place.

It was a very quick game to learn, and we learnt from the rule book in less than ten minutes (iirc, I wasn’t really timing it, but it was fast).

This is a nice, set collection game, that is beautiful to look at. It’s not a complicated game, some nice touches to it. Can be taught quickly. Yeah glad I got this. Plus with ninety plus cards (ninety two I think) for the paintings, there is a lot of variety.

 

Our second game of the evening was Mint Works. Still really like this, and if you keep an eye on the right of the page for what I have been playing recently, then you know this has been to the table a couple of times since Friday when I first played it. I’ve taught it to students, and now Jonathan and Katie. No one hates it yet!

I do hope that Mint Works and Starving Artists get to a wider audience other than the Kickstarter backers. Like AGES they deserve to be picked up and distributed to the unwashed masses.

Our evening of gaming finished with Archer: Once You Go Blackmail. You know I have one or two copies of Love Letter. So it’s fair to say that I like the game. I got this version because I wanted to see if any new mechanics/tweaks had been introduced to the game.

The main addition to this version of Love Letter is that the discarded card is now part of the game (now called the hidden card), and one or two of the abilities use that card. One even allows you to name one of the characters/cards, and if it is the hidden card, you win that round automatically.

It’s a nice touch, and Jonathan did like how this worked also. Although I did point out that Lost Legacy did something similar. But then this version of Love Letter doesn’t have that end game mechanic of trying to guess the hidden card at the end, that Jonathan really didn’t like (well apart from the sci-fi theme).

I like this version of Love Letter a lot. It’s a close call between this and Love Letter Batman as to which is my favorite one. The intelligence tokens are amazing and nearly as cute as the little Batman logos in Love Letter Batman. This is too close to call.

Anyway it was a really great evening of gaming. Oh now to decide what to play on Friday now.

A feast of mints

Woohoo! It’s the weekend.

And my weekend starts at 4pm as soon as the last student has left my classroom. Just over two hours later I’ll be gaming with friends. 

I get home, quickly throw some games into a bag. As far as I’m aware at this point in the time space continuum it’s myself and Diego that are meeting up. And that knowledge informs my game selection. 

In the hotel car park Diego is just about to enter the hotel as I pull in. 

We get our poison of choice, and retire to the “gaming room” (ok it’s not really a “gaming room” it’s the restaurant area with a bloody lovely large wooden table we are allowed to play on) to play our games in comfort.

Diego and I played Mint Works, a game that was literally burning a hole in my pocket since it’s arrival. It’s a worker placement game that fits in a pocket easily (I should do a post about my current “micro” games in my bag).

I liked Mint Works. It gives that worker placement experience in a small, quick package.

Naturally that little altoid tin it comes in is awesome. Like Love Letter it has that whole “wait, there’s a game in this small package” thing going on. 

The only complaint I have over component quality is my first player counter. As you can see above one side shouldn’t have passed quality control. I like how the counters you play with look like mints. The graphic design on the cards is functional, and easy to understand. It’s not going to win best art work of the year.

The rules are simple and quick to learn, and teach.

It’s a nice simple, quick to play (about 20 minutes) game. 

This is going to stay in my bag, ready to pull out and play at a moments notice.

We had just finished playing when Chris turned up with A Feast for Odin in hand.

Wow this game is mind blowing.

Setting up just puts you in a state of shock when you see the amount of components the game has. It’s like Rosenberg decided to set some sort of Guiness world record for most components in a game. A challenge of sorts to other game designers, “beat this I dare you”. 

You look at the main board where you will be selecting your actions, and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed initially. There’s a lot of actions you can potentially do on a turn.

This is not a simple game. It’s definitely one that needs a few plays to get to grips with. Well that’s my excuse for losing.

A Feast for Odin definitely feels like Rosenberg put two or three of his previous games in a blender and this was the blended smoothy result. And this smoothy tastes good.

I definitely enjoyed this much much more than one of its patents Agricola/Caverna.

At the end of the evening Chris told us he managed to get a reasonably priced copy of the much in demand, and between printings, Great Western Trail. I’m looking forward to Chris bringing it along for us to play.

Yeah the weekend got off to another great start.

Won the battle…

But lost the war.

That best describes the finale for our second season of Formula D.

The starting positions for this race were:

Pole position – Debbie

2nd – Jonathan

3rd – Katie (3rd in previous race)

4th – Me (2nd place in previous race)

5th – winner of the last race Diego

The track for this showdown was the base games Monaco circuit.

Jonathan had the perfect start and had the automatic 4 space start. While the rest of us luckily didn’t stall, and had to settle for ones or twos. But by the first corner that great start had been squandered, and Jonathan was sitting at the back of the pack.

Briefly I was in the lead, but going into the first three stop corner I was now at the back. However somehow I had my tactics spot on for the corner, and was coming out of it on a higher gear than the others, that allowed me to jump back into the running again. I think this was the best I had ever navigated my way round that corner. Wish I had paid attention to what I had been doing.

By the time the last corner was being negotiated Katie was in the lead, ready to do a pit stop. I was close behind in second. While Debbie, Jonathan and Diego were fighting it out behind us.

I thought I could exploit the fact Katie was having a pitstop to take the lead and build a buffer between us. And I did take the lead from Katie, however not a big enough one to stop Katie spending the rest of the second lap duelling for top spot. Katie had been a bit more reckless/unlucky and was down to one tire point. So had to be more careful than me on corners. And it was this that allowed me to take the lead at a crucial point when Katie span out on the set of two stop corners.

Meanwhile while Katie and I were battling for first place, there was an equally fluid battle for third spot. That was looking like Jonathan had the advantage and third place, with Debbie being in front of Diego, who was last.

But that last set of two stop corners was also turning out to be a crucial area, it allowed Diego to over take Debbie, and slowed Jonathan down.

As the last three were about to hit the final corner, I sped across the finish line in first place. Taking my first victory in our league. Katie took second comfortably.

I thought Jonathan was a cert for third spot. But Diego out of nowhere it seemed, and much better dice rolls, stole whatever little glory was left away from him.

The final race results were:

  1. Me
  2. Katie
  3. Diego
  4. Jonathan
  5. Debbie

The final standings after our three race season were as follows:

  1. Katie (1,3,2)
  2. Me (4,2,1)
  3. Diego (5,1,3)
  4. Jonathan (2,4,4)
  5. Debbie (3,5,5)

Katie successfully defended her title. But only just. It was a narrow margin she won by. Whilst Debbie also successfully held on to the “Driving Miss Daisy” Cup. So named because obviously last place was driving like they were taking an old lady round the track.

A great last race for season 2. Will Katie manage to defend her title in season 3? We will add in the weather rule for that season!

Mad King’s Salt Mines


“Plans go to hell as soon as the first shot is fired.” – Jack Reacher, 61 Hours.  Plans change. And our original plans for yesterday had changed.

We were scheduled to over throw the tyrant King Joffrey aka Jonathan in A Game of Thrones the boardgame. However the numbers weren’t looking good for running the game. On Friday we were down for three definites and a possible. Although playable with three, we wanted the minimum to be four players. Four players would allow us to play using the rather excellent A Feast for Crows expansion.

So Friday evening at FEG@WL we made plans. Plans for if the possible didn’t turn up. 


Saturday arrived, I packed a bag of games that included our planned game and optimistically the newly arrived six player only expansion A Dance With Dragons. Keeping it company in the bag was Adrenaline (with the also just delivered Chainsaw weapon promo, that was given away at Essen)  and Scythe.

Well only the three of us that had committed turned up, so plan B from Friday night kicked in. Which meant we were going to have to live under the tyranny of King Joffrey for a bit longer.

Our first game of the afternoon was Castles of Mad King Ludwig

This game had been on my wish list for a long time. As I’ve previously pointed out I narrowly missed out on buying a second hand copy to Diego recently. So it was cool we were now getting a chance to play it.

Wow how bloody good is this game? We really liked it.

The initial bonus cards you select help guide your buying decisions for the rest of the game. Luckily in our game one of my bonus cards also tied up with one of the Kings demands.

And those Kings demands are random each game. So there is a lot of variety/replay ability there straight away.

Having a kind of “I split, you choose” mechanic for deciding the trade row of rooms was a fantastic idea. So the master builder populates the trade row with rooms, and decides where they go pricing wise. The player to their left then gets to choose which room they want to buy (if any) and the money for that room goes to the master builder. The player then adds the room to their castle and scores it. And it goes round the players like this until the master builder is reached, who is last to buy anything from the trade row. Then the master builder token moves to the player on the left, who becomes the new master builder, and we start all over again the process of buying and building.

Now I liked that a lot. As the master builder you have some tough decisions to make about which rooms go where on the trade row.

The room placement is great fun. Completing rooms fires off a bonus based on the colour/type of room. While placing the room in the wrong place could cost you points.

The one thing I didn’t like about the game was the point tracking board. It just didn’t work for me. I found it at times confusing on who was in the lead when glancing at it.

Yeah this is a very satisfying, enjoyable game, where you have to be aware of what the other players are doing. Diego got a gem of a game here. We will be playing it again.

What turned out to be our last game of the day due to how long it played, was Magnum Sal.

This was another bargain, this time for Jonathan. The cardboard was unpunched. Which is rare on second hand games.

So we were salt mining in medieval somewhere, in this pick up and deliver, worker placement game.

Naturally for a learning game, after unpunching tokens, and setting up, we ended up making some major boo boos while playing. Hey it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t make mistakes.

So I think it’s unfair to make a report of what we liked about the game yet.

I would say our misplays may have slowed the game down a little. One was discovered after the second phase, so we had one final phase playing the correct way. The other big misplay was only discovered this morning by Jonathan.

But despite these misplays there was a lot there to warrant playing again. We all still enjoyed the experience. Which is more than can be said when we misplayed Deadmen Tell No Tales.

I will say there were one or two times we had to consult the bgg forums because the rule book was a little ambiguous.

A great afternoons gaming. I enjoy playing with Diego and Jonathan. But then I’ve said this before I’m lucky in that the members of Fenland Gamers are great people who I enjoy playing with.

Can’t wait ’til our Formula D finale on Wednesday.

The Planets Align

I’ve not posted for a day or two. So I know you must have withdrawal symptoms from being denied your fresh dosage of poor attempts at humour and bad English. But fear not I’m back today with this post.

It probably doesn’t feel like it but I do only post when I have something to say, and don’t post just any old thing!

Now I have been gaming during the week. But it’s been at work. And for obvious reasons I’m going to keep that to a minimum on here. 

It was Friday yesterday. The end of the working week. Always after a break, that first week back seems longer usually. But this week it’s flown by. Maybe it’s because we survived Storm Doris and the excitement and route finding challenges (blocked roads due to blown over lorries) that it presented.

Still that pint of Thatchers cider sure did taste mighty good and well deserved during our gaming session.

Our first game of the evening was going to be Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It had just arrived in Diego’s collection. I’d had just missed out on buying it second hand. But wasn’t too upset when I saw it was Diego that had beaten me to get it. I knew I’d get to play it. 

However before setting up I got a message from Chris to say he was 20 minutes away and had Blood Rage with him. Diego and I were happy to hear that news. We both wanted to play that game.

We chatted until Chris turned up, and with no arm twisting, tummy punches, bullying, water boarding, kidnapping or chemicals, Jonathan (under his own free will) said he’d also play Blood Rage.

So we were doing this. We were playing Blood Rage. A game I listed in my “Don’t wanna buy, but wanna try” post.

As usual for a CMoN game the minis, especially the big monster ones looked stunning. 

As much as I hate and despise CMoN, I can’t take away the fact that they nail it when it comes to making great minis in games.

I liked the card drafting at the start of each round. Plus using a different deck each time, that ramped up how powerful the cards got.

The three rounds went fast. Surprisingly so. The game had a nice pace to it. It didn’t drag.

The combat worked well, it was simple and fast. Which helped the pace of the game.

There is a nice resource management element that works well. Having to decide how to spend your rage. Installing upgrades, taking actions, and which ones. If I hadn’t been stealing rage from the others I might have had some really difficult choices to make! Also deciding which trait to upgrade, do you want more rage next round, or more warriors on the board, or maybe more points when you win a battle (which didn’t benefit me with my tactic).

Oh and it’s a very easy game to learn. Like all games with a drafting element it’s going to take a few games to see all the cards and learn what they do. But rules, actions wise so easy to pick up. 


In our game the planets aligned for me. This was probably my best ever first play of a game.

I stumbled upon the tactic of wanting to get into battles and lose. Losing and dying, sending warriors to Valhalla was with the cards I drafted a devastating tactic.

In the first draft I got both Loki cards that if I lost a battle allowed me to steal rage from the winner. Which was backed up by a clan upgrade that allowed me to place a warrior back into the area I had just been defeated in for free. I then had the quest that gave me points for having more than four warriors in Valhalla at the end of the round. The sea monster also joined my clan. Which was to prove handy.

In round two I got both of the Loki cards that allowed me to continue with the losing tactic, but gave me even more rage. I was also allowed to get the same quest again as the one I had in round one. But I added a ship upgrade that included the sea monster (it counted as a ship) that gave me points whenever a ship was destroyed. Add in a clan upgrade for double Ragnorak points. I was swimming in rage in the second round. Whilst my opponents had none. Some git (me) like the first round had been stealing it from them. 

Third round saw me lose my Loki card early on. But by then it was too late, the damage had been done. All I had to do was make sure I stayed in the zone for Ragnorak, complete the same quest again. Upgrade my clan with an Odin card that doubled completed quest scores, upgraded my points for destroyed ships, and I was golden.

The cards really fell for me in the drafting round. None of the others hate drafted! I did in round two. I took the second Loki card so the others couldn’t have it. I was surprised I was able to get those cards in the second round after the others saw how powerful they were in the first round. The whole combination though of the cards I had just fuelled each other. I got lucky. But it was a nice feeling to be this lucky for once.

I liked Blood Rage a lot. Most definitely want to play again. But won’t buy! I know my “got to have it all” gene would kick in, and I’d want the Kickstarter exclusive stuff too.

I agree with the comment Diego made after the game about Blood Rage being better than Inis (which we liked). But I added I still thought Scythe, and Kemet were above it. Now I just have to work out where Cry Havoc fits in the ordering. Oh an excuse to play that again 😉

We finished off the gaming with the liars dice inspired House of Borgia. Jonathan really did have no luck in this game. However Diego won by being sneakier and more manipulative than the rest of us. 

There is as you know only one way to finish a great evening of gaming. The consumption of unidentifiable meat products smothered in chilli sauce and “salad”. If I had been drinking the Thatchers from a horn cup, and eating this pile of meat, with my unkept beard, you’d almost think i could have been a portly Viking!

Another great start to the weekend.

Dragonslayers

SPOILER ALERT! This post may or may not contain spoilers for T.I.M.E. Stories A Prophecy of Dragons. 

A week later than planned due to illness hitting our party. But the gang was back together, ready to “quantum leap” it in T.I.M.E. Stories A Prophecy of Dragons. Sadly Jeff our “GM” was too ill to over see affairs. So we were leaping unsupervised.

Like waves smashing against rocks we failed to crack this mission despite five or so runs.

It started so well. We chose our recepticles. I was a wizard. But the usual fantasy tropes were there for choosing.

Like all good D&D adventures our recepticles were gathered in the local inn. It was here that we had a moment of comedic gold. 

In our previous two successful missions the first run through was a fact gathering exercise. Which hopefully leads to a more efficient next attempt, and so on. A plan we were once more utilising for this mission.

As expected time defeated us. But we had a lot of useful information. 

On our second run through I tried a bit of type casting and played the “halfling”. But returned to being a wizard for the remaining attempts.

On one run through we had a Doctor Strange moment! 

There is some stunning art work in this game. I particularly liked the colourful artwork for the Doctor Strange moment.

We had forgotten to bring along anything to make notes with. Note taking has been key to successfully solving and completing the mission. Luckily so far it appeares that our poor memories were good enough.

Based on our selected characters I think we had the optimal route through. But time is sooo tight. Too tight I think. You almost need, no have to, have a perfect run. Which after the fourth, fifth, possible sixth (I can’t remember exactly how many we did, it was more than three, so in troll counting falls under many) time of going through doing the same things, felt draining and demoralising. I think the break between plays is much needed to recharge our batteries.

I liked the addition of magic, and spell casting. Plus the encounters were interesting. 

The other surprise for me was we haven’t hit a puzzle to solve yet! Asylum was the most puzzle based so far. The Marcy Case much less so. But this scenario, no puzzle yet.

So defeated, we have sneaked off to lick our wounds, regroup and recharge. Bring on the rematch!

Half Term FEG@WL

The week ended with a longer session than normal of our regular Friday Evening Gaming at The White Lion. It was also a great start to the weekend.

Our gaming started off with (at long last) Mechs vs Minions

This game is still getting hype, it’s print runs selling out. And no wonder really £75 plus £5 shipping, its redonkulous value for money. The production value is out of the park. 100 minion minis, all with a wash paint job to bring out details. Four fully painted figures. Custom metal counters, thick cardboard. The list goes on. Oh and the game box is massive and heavy.

The game you may have guessed looks lovely.

We played the tutorial and first mission yesterday.

I liked the tutorial. It was similar to the approach taken by Krosmaster Arena. But better! Plus I believe the different missions will introduce new mission specific rules. You don’t even have had to read anything before hand, open up and just start playing. The tutorial is that good, fun and easy to follow.

Which brings me on to the three rule books we saw, the tutorial, mission one and reference book. All really well written, easy to flow, clear, accessible style. 

I like the use of mission envelops that you open when directed, and containing all you need for that mission, like extra cards etc.

On the first mission it was rather cool making use of the timer for drafting after a certain condition was met. That made sure things didn’t go all ap on which cards to draft. Although you could game it a little!

Really like the drafting, programming element. Taking damage, which can interfere with your programming is a great touch. Plus they put in repair and reorder mechanics. Which balances out the game nicely. 

Oh and being able to boost/power up your cards abilities. Now that is cool. 

We played this game for two hours, and it did not seem that long. The time just flew by.

Yeah this definitely lived up to the hype. It’s a very nice game. Can’t wait to attempt mission two.

After Mechs vs Minions it was nearly time for Diego arriving. So we squeezed in some games of Santorini. I didn’t win any of our three games. But still had a blast. 

I said it wouldn’t be long before Adrenaline was in the collection. It had arrived that morning. So Jonathan and I introduced Diego and Chris to the joys of a fps boardgame! We played the full eight skull game with final frenzy.

It’s just a great, light, fun boardgame. Still learning the weapons. But despite coming last again, I did pull off the kill of the game doing six points of damage to Diego to kill his character.

Oh and the promo chainsaw weapon card may or may not be on its way to me!

Jonathan showed me the new Pandemic the Cure expansions contents. He managed to get it at a more acceptable price of £30 but there is no way the contents (despite being custom dice, and some cards) is worth it’s rrp of £45. Jonathan was right when he said your paying for the Pandemic name. It’s almost like a tax.

A really great game session. Great games, great company, great beverages. Oh and T.I.M.E. Stories the next day. I’m super happy.