Yesterday saw some impromptu gaming between Jonathan, myself, Chris and Edmund.
But how did we get to that point? Well I needed a big favour from Jonathan! I’d sold my Android Netrunner collection, and needed to print out the delivery label so myHermes could pick it up today. Sadly my printer/scanner is just a scanner these days. So I threw myself on the mercy of Jonathan. Who suggested we also play a game too. The invite went out on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page. And there we were, playing Keyflower on a Sunday afternoon.
Boy did Edmund grok this game. He destroyed us. While Edmund was grokking the game, Jonathan was getting wound up, because the game was not clicking for him. Sometimes that happens with a game, and you need another play at least before it clicks. It’s that second game that the person usually ends up whooping my butt at the game. The important point is that I beat Jonathan by two massive points this time.
By the end of our gaming Dale edged it winning 6-5.
Our first four games were a new hero deck that Dale came up with. It demolished my ePadme/Jyn deck. It was crazy in the damage it was doing. But the remaining three games the cards weren’t so favourable to Dale and I won.
Dale then lent me Con Artist to swap in to see how that would work in my deck. Our remaining games were Dales ePalpatine against my ePadme/Jyn. They were pretty tight games. In our final game I proxied in a second Second Chance. Con Artist worked pretty well. And I most certainly need that second Second Chance.
I’ll have to do a post of my deck in its 2.0 state. If the dice come off (like the photo above – I rolled that today) thats 6 cards off the top of the opponents deck. That’s insane!
Well my International TableTop Day started the same as all others. Coffee made with my Hario V60 Dripper, using a limited edition roast called Kigoma Natural (with hints of black grape and blueberry) from Pact Coffee (yes I’m that coffee hipster/snob guy). I save the good stuff for weekends. Like all the other days I had the usual two chocolate chip brioche. I love my morning routine.
After dressing I got a selection of games together to take along to the Fenland Gamers International TableTop Day Event, and then headed off to The White Lion.
When I got to the hotel there were people still eating breakfast. So I enquired if breakfast was still being served. It was. Result. I ordered a full English. Which was great value. It not only included the titular dish, but hot drink (tea/coffee), fruit juice and cereal.
Jonathan turned up just after I ordered my food. So we chatted about games, life the universe and other stuff, while we waited for my plate of goodness, and then devouring of said plate of food.
We had just started playing Jaipur when Lucia and the walking injured also known as Will turned up. I hadn’t played Jaipur before, but its been on and off my radar for a while. Jaipur is played over three rounds before a winner is decided. We only had time to complete one. But there was enough in the game for me to want to play again. It is a nice two player game, that combines set collection, drafting and hand management really nicely.
With Will and Lucia we played Archer: Once You Go Blackmail Love Letter. There was a slight hitch to the start of the game. Jonathan and I hadn’t realised Will and Lucia hadn’t played Love Letter! It just didn’t register that we hadn’t played the game with them. Oops.
During the game Chris arrived. Just in time to see Jonathan come back from behind and win.
It was time to be corrupt sheriffs and dishonest tradesman in Sheriff of Nottingham. This game is such a hoot. There was not that much bribing to get your own goods through, but lots of bribing the current sheriff to open someone else’s pouch. Somehow in all the chaos, lying and treachery Chris won.
Our final game of our TableTop Day session was Lords of Waterdeep. I think this was my worst play of the game ever! It has been nearly a year and a half since I last played the game physically, and nearly a year the app (which does not work properly on iOS, and needs a massive update). We did have one misplay. The first round was played with too many meeples. After that I just didn’t complete Quests as quick as the others or use the intrigue cards well. Mind you I did draw some turkeys. Oh Lucia won.
When I got home Amazon had delivered the stuff I bought with the very generous gift from my friends and colleagues at work yesterday.
So that was TableTop Day for 2017, and day two of Darren’s birthday celebration weekend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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!
I think this learning game will go down as one of our better train wrecks.
This pile up wasn’t helped by a poorly written rule book.
The game looks lovely. The little skeleton head pieces are super cool.
But our massive misplay, what a doozie! When placing a new boat tile on the board we weren’t drawing a token each time. By the time we realised there was no way we could have won. So we weren’t finding stuff to fight or treasure to loot.
The question I have to ask myself is “was there enough here to warrant me giving the game a second chance?”
Our second game of the afternoon was on more familiar, well worn (ish) paths. We played a no thrills, no extras game of Viticulture.
There were two new players and it wasn’t fair to throw the extra stuff at them as well. Get the basics under the belt, then next time we can fly with the larger board etc.
I like that we have managed to get Viticulture to the table twice now this year. It’s such a great game. And along with Scythe easily in my top 5 games I think. Well if I was to ever do like a top whatever games that is. It also shows that problem most gamers have, so many great games, but so little time!
The ending of our game saw me narrowly loose to Chris (a first timer at a meet up).
A great afternoons gaming. Bring on Friday and Mechs vs Minions.
It’s that special commercial holiday Valentine’s Day. So what better way to spend it than spending the afternoon playing Scythe and Kemet.
The day had started well with the taxman sending me a Valentine’s Day letter informing me of my tax code for the upcoming tax year. But I knew that this was their grey taxman way of saying they love me. I’m disappointed there was no romantic dinner arranged to discuss how much tax I could avoid paying. But I guess they are saving those for their high end corporate whores such as Google.
Our first game of the afternoon was my game of 2016, Scythe.
For the first time I was playing a new faction for me, Akiko & Jiro (Togawa Shogunate). Jeff actually had the other new faction Connor & Max (Clan Albion). While young Lucas had my favourite faction, and the only one I’d played to date, Olga Romanova & Changa (Rusviet Union). Diego had Anna & Wojtek (Polania Republic), and Jamie had Gunter von Duisburg with Nacht & Tag (Saxony Empire).
Diego took the early “lead” getting three stars out, and bring first to the factory. I was second to the factory and laid a trap token on it! The traps had a great psychological affect on the others. None of my traps were set of, instead that acted as deterrents and stopped the others trying to take over my territories with them on.
It was interesting that Jeff hardly laid any of his tokens. I think I only remember him placing one.
I was busy grabbing land, making sure I was going to score lots at the end. The others were not building much, or grabbing lots of territory. Which allowed me to get in a position where I could place two stars on my final go using my factory card ability. My fifth star was completing all my enlistments, and the sixth game ending star was defeating Saxony for my second battle star.
Once the dust had settled, points added, I had won with a comfortable margin. It was my best score ever, and my first ever victory.
We had played with the board extension. So it was a bloody big board. Which I enjoyed playing on. I enjoyed playing the new faction. It was the first time playing with this player count. I liked it, more was going on. I won’t play it with more players.
But I won!
Our next game and final for the afternoon was Kemet. Which with its “attack, attack” philosophy capturing the true spirit of the day.
So we were playing with the C2K expansion adding in the Cyclades monsters. And it was the first time playing with the max of five players.
I’d taken an early victory point lead. But it wasn’t there for long before it was a question of “how could we delay Diego”.
We actually ended up with Diego and Jamie getting eight victory points at the end of a round. But with the tie conditions the victory went to Diego.
Another game I enjoyed as a five player game. It was a lot longer game than our previous play. But then this was more players. The extra monsters from Cyclades were a nice addition, and additional tactical decision whether to buy or not.
A great afternoon of gaming in the spirit of the day. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try Blood Rage tomorrow.