Category Archives: Game day

Custom Playmats and a first game of Commander 

If all goes to plan I will have a new play mat for Star Wars:Destiny that will be pretty amazing.

I love this image from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Those X-Wings skimming the water as they race to the rescue of Maz, Han, Chewie, Rey and Finn (plus everyone else at Maz’s place) is just iconic to me.

I was hoping we’d see an official play mat with it on. But it hasn’t happened yet. So I’ve had to resort to “borrowing” the above image off the Internet and getting an unofficial version made with it.

If the results are good I might look into getting some Fenland Gamer ones made up.   Some general large ones for game sessions. But if demand or the public cry out loud enough one for our MtG players. Both would be pretty cool. I’d love one of the official Ultra-Pro MtG 6ft play mats for our group. But justifying just short of £100 for that is very very hard. Having club ones that individuals get to buy if they want is an easier decision.

This afternoon Charlie and I met up and played our first ever games of Commander using two of the prebuilt 2017 decks.

Charlie went with the Feline Ferocity deck, so cat tribal with Arahbo, Roar of the Wild as its commander. I chose cool dragons tribal with Draconic Domination and it’s commander the Ur-Dragon.

In our first game after a couple of turns Charlie had a couple of creatures out, and I just had to take the damage they were dealing, and then he dropped Quietus Spike on the board.

Luckily he didn’t have enough mana to equip it straight away. I needed a solution. I could play a dragon and block with it. It would die. But I’d have to keep doing that each turn until I found a better solution. Or I could hope to top deck the answer. Which is what I did on my card draw.

I drew Crux of Fate, chose Destroy all non-Dragon creatures. Wiped the Board clean of all cat creatures on Charlie’s side and removed any targets for that horrible spike. After that I was able to get dragons onto the board and hit Charlie at will. Charlie wasn’t able to draw into any more creatures.

Not being able to sacrifice a creature with Wasitora out meant I was able to get some cute cat dragon tokens out. Plus Charlie did once manage to draw and play a creature but then had to sacrifice it!

Game two saw an early Dragonspeaker Shaman hit the board. Which with my commanders eminence ability meant I was getting a 3 mana discount on casting dragons.

So I was casting big dragons a lot earlier than I should. Charlie still wasn’t drawing any answers and once again took a beating. But give Charlie his dues he was determined that the cats could work.

Game 3. Charlie was giving me rat tokens! I got three before I killed off the Hungry Lynx creating them.

Thing is with Dromoka in play on my side I was putting two +1/+1 tokens on them!

I was attacking at will, with once more the cards hating Charlie, no damage coming back at me. So the inevitable happened again and I won. I wasn’t used to this. I was winning at Magic!

For our fourth and final game we swapped decks. I joked “you know what’s going to happen, I’ll win with this deck”. I was able to play a turn one soul ring. I had some great mana ramp. I played an enchancement that doubled my mana produced by a land when I tapped it, plus gave my creatures +1/+1.

I had a couple of artefacts that I was able to equip on to I think it was Temur Sabretooth. Which with the Commander ability meant it had vigilance, first strike, trample, and was something like a 11/11 when it swung in.

Although Charlie was able to get rid of my enchantment slowing my mana ramp down a little, it was too little too late. He wasn’t drawing any answers and I was hitting him hard with my beefed up creature.

I managed to win with the cat tribe!

The cards were really harsh to Charlie this afternoon, whilst really kind to me. I enjoyed this 1 v 1 game of Commander. But I’m really keen now to try it with more players and see how the politics of the game kick in.

But a great afternoon with a great opponent. Thanks for the games Charlie.

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!

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”.

Dungeon Madness

Yesterday was a good day. Gaming and Liverpool decimated Arsenal. Hard to top that for a Sunday. Jonathan has been rather busy with life stuff recently. This work thing just gets in the way of everything. So it was good to get a chance to meet up and play a couple of games at the local coffee emporium Costa.

Our first game while enjoying our beverages was Dairyman (owned by Jonathan). 

What can I say about the game? It’s a pleasant, light, push your luck dice game. I think between this and Go Nuts for Donuts (also Jonathan’s game) that I’ve played recently, this would be my preference. However this is the opposite point of view to Jonathan.

Dairyman for me would have to compete against Age of War and Zombie Dice. And I think I prefer both of these over Diaryman. Age of War noses it because of that little take that element of being able to steal cards from other players. Zombie Dice plays more players.

We then played my recent aquasition One Deck Dungeon. Sometimes a learning game  from the rule book isn’t the best thing to do.   

Our first playthrough was a bit muddled, and we died. But we were finding the rule book not the easiest thing to navigate to find the information we needed. I have to admit I was feeling a bit deflated by the game. Or more the confusion from the rules. Jonathan was much more positive and found elements he liked.

The second attempt at the dungeon was better. However we still couldn’t work out how the dungeon card worked. For the life of us we couldn’t find the information we needed. Subsequently I have found the information we needed in the rule book and on YouTube. How it was missed I don’t know. 

I was feeling much better about the game after our second play. Much more positive.

But despite our games being like train wrecks there was enough there to like. I’m still not a fan of the rule book. Once I’ve played it correctly I’ll talk about the stuff I like about it.

I have other games that are aimed at the solo player, The 7th Continent, Hostage  Negotiator, and D-Day Dice. I also have others that have solo modes. So how does One Deck Dungeon stack up against them? Not badly for sure. The advantage it has for most people over The 7th Continent and D-Day Dice is that it’s easier to get. D-Day Dice is out of print and not likely to be reprinted. While The 7th Continent if you didn’t back the original Kickstarter then you will have to wait until the next Kickstarter for it to get a copy. Another advantage it has over all three is portability. The box is easily small enough to throw in a bag. Although if you use the original Hostage Negotiator box  (assuming you have both the original and the Crime Wave expansion) you could take the game out with you easily. I think that would be the deciding factor, is this a Costa Gaming session or a game night session or at home. The Costa session, One Deck Dungeon wins, the later I’m going 7th Continent, or one of the others. Unless I want something quick. One Deck Dungeon is quick to setup and play. Much more so than the others. 

It was great catching up with Jonathan and play some games with him. Hopefully life will be kinder to him soon so he can play more games.

Kill them all

Yesterday Jeff celebrated his mid week birthday in great style by hosting a gaming session of Memoir 44 for friends and family.

The plan for the day. Turn up play Memoir 44, eat and drink, have a great time.

We were playing Memoir 44 using the multiplayer Overlord rules and maps. On a basic level Overlord is two teams of players where one player on the team is the commander, while the rest of the team are generals. The commander issues his orders to his generals who then execute those orders on the section of the battlefield they are responsible for. Naturally there is a little more to it than that, but not much.

Our first conflict was between the Japanese and Russians in the battle The Khalkin-Gol Encirclement. This was a battle just before the official start of WWII.

Sides were decided randomly by drawing a playing card. Draw red you were Russian, black Japanese. The cards had decided that the least experienced players of Memoir should be together and play the Russians. While the more experienced players were deemed by the cards to be more suited to gather round the flag of the rising sun.

Which meant that Jeff was commander of the emporers forces, facing off against his son who was commanding the people’s army. On the ground I was commanding the Japanese forces on the right flank, defending a hill, and one victory point on that hill. While Diego was leading the waves of Russian forces trying to take that hill from me.

For the majority of the battle my forces held the hill. By the time Diego took the hill it was too late. It had been costly for Diego. I had scored my share of victory points while defending my positions. Which was helped by the fact the Japanese troops were not allowed to retreat! Yep we got to ignore the first retreat flag rolled. It also helped that Diego was rolling as bad as Jonathan normally does playing Memoir.

Within a turn of Diego taking the hill, our forces had won the game.

It was time to set up the next scenario and eat.

Our second game after a lunch break of BBQ food was the Capture of Tobruk. Sides were once more decided by drawing cards. This time I was the commander of the Axis forces. My generals were Jeff, Diego and Jeff’s son.

To start with I hardly had any command cards that would allow me to activate Diego and my left flank. So I had a slower start on that side than I wanted. Jeff on the right flank, and his son commanding the centre were able to do great work on their fronts. The British called in a spitfire, which couldn’t go unanswered. We called in our own air support in the form of a 109, skilfully piloted by Jeff.

After the third turn the cards were kinder to me and allowed me to bring in Diego more. We were trailing on the victory point front. But I wasn’t worried I knew we would pull it back. Which we did. We were putting pressure on both flanks, and breaking through the middle. The allies were dropping like flies. By the end the allied commanders were demoralised, impending defeat, poor card draw, and our forces over running theirs. Who wouldn’t be? The inevitable happened and we won.

I loved playing the Overlord format. Having the chance to play as both the commander and as a general, great fun. And different experiences. These weren’t short games. About 2 – 3 hours each. In fact the second game might have been longer. This really is a great way to play Memoir with a few friends.

What a great day. Great company, great food, great game. I know lots of greats. But it’s true.

Tiny Epic Afternoon

Yesterday was billed as a Tiny Epic Learning session. With the aim of playing learning games of Tiny Epic Quest (TEQ), and Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG)  with the new expansion Beyond the Black (BtB). However long suffering readers will know I managed to get TEQ to the table a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. So it wasn’t strictly a learning session for that game.

This game of TEQ was the first with the new play mat. But I’ll talk about this at the end of the post. It was also Diego’s first time playing the game. Although he was roughly familiar with the rules having read the ones in his recently received copy.

I did it. I finally did it. I finally won a game of TEQ. Third time lucky and all that.

I had a massive last round scoring ten points, by killing two goblins and jumping a couple of levels on the magic track.

I still haven’t played this with more than two players. It’s lucky that the game plays well with two. 

Our second game of the afternoon was TEG plus BtB. It was almost all in, however we didn’t use either of the micro expansions.

Just like TEQ this was the first time Diego had played the game. The learning bit for me was the BtB side.

I picked up early in the game a pilot that when I harvested resources gave me two instead of one for that pilots ship. Which meant I was rarely running out of energy or culture. My secret mission was a fairly simple one to complete. All I had to do was have no ships in my home galaxy at the end of the game. Which ended up being the case. In fact on Diego’s final go of the game I had enough culture that I was able to follow two of his advance dice to claim another planet, and then follow a move to send my returned ship back out to full fill my secret mission. Both Diego and I went off exploring into the Black. It was just every time Diego did it he drew red cards with negative effects for him but lots of symbols. Whilst I drew green cards that gave me resources, but had less symbols. During the end game scoring Diego got an extra six points in total from having three of the majorities. The fourth we drew and got nothing for. In the end after triggering the end of the game I had won 26 points to 21. It was those follows during Diego’s last go that gave me the victory. Otherwise we would have drawn.

What did I think of the BtB expansion? It was ok. It didn’t wow me. The pilots and their abilities are interesting. But very dependent on which ones come out. I was lucky getting the one I did. The exploring part was ok, it has its push your luck element, which we didn’t really experience. The symbols on the bottom of the pilot and explore cards adds an interesting scoring element that could be enough for some-one to steal the victory. I do like having the more open score track. It makes keeping track of who is where and how close to the game ending you are. I’d most likely play with this expansion in future games. 

I have the play mats for all my Tiny Epic games. You certainly don’t need them. However you should get them. Gamelyn certainly know how to make great play mats for their games. They help with setup, especially the TEG and BtB ones with hints for how many cards go out for the different player counts. Naturally they don’t fit into the boxes. But they aren’t much extra to carry around really. They are of what seems a good quality. Plus they help protect the game while playing.

Thanks Diego for a great afternoons gaming.

There’s gold in them there Dice!

Yesterday Dale and I played surprise surprise, some Star Wars:Destiny. 

It was his new eJango/eVeers deck against my new eVader/Raider deck.

The stats will show my deck won 6-2.

Early on it hit me that with two Vader dice out on the table, plus a force speed, force choke, two vibro knives, and two Sith Holocrons, that’s a lot of money sitting there. Depending on current prices and where you buy from, you are not going to work away with much change if any from £100. In fact I think it’s more than £100 easy. That’s a frightening amount to have sitting there in the table. If I go to a store tournament I’m hoping Dale can make it also. I want some-one trustworthy watching my stuff while I go to answer a call of nature. If Dale can’t make it I may just have to buy one of those card quivers. Which I have to admit I do like the look of. That way I’ll be able to easily carry my prized dice and cards with me.


I think I’ve said this before, but I like repeating myself, but with the two sets there are already more cards you’d like in your deck than there is space. This is only going to get worse with the next set. But it’s a delicious position to be in. It’s means there will be even more variety in decks. So yes you know the characters you are up against, and might have an idea of the “core” cards they might be playing, but after that it will be a pleasant surprise. 

I think I know after yesterday which cards I’m going to drop and replace with other cards I like the look of. That’s the nice thing about sessions like yesterday. I think you need to play a deck a few times to get a feel for how it plays, get an idea of where it’s weak, remove the bad dice rolls and card draw (if you can ever do that completely). Ideally playing it against several different decks is something I’d like to do. But I don’t have a deck library at the moment (something I may look into doing – especially if I start to take the tournament scene seriously).

Dale’s deck didn’t work for me at all. It was a vehicle deck, they weren’t really getting out, most of the time if they did it was late game. I don’t think Veers is a good match up with Jango. Jango is on my list of characters to build a deck round. I’m thinking I’d pair him with FN-2199 or Royal Guard. Veers might come into his own with the next sets emphasis on vehicles. If I was intent on playing Veers I’d pair him with Unkar maybe so I’d have the resources to pay for the vehicles. 

On the other news front, The 7th Continent arrived. I didn’t do an unboxing video, despite pressure from Jonathan to do so.

Instead I did an unboxing photos stream on Instagram.

Now all I’ve got to do is unpack the cards and file them away, read the rules, and finally get it to the table!

Duelling Dice 

Yesterday Dale and I met up at our almost ghost like work place to play some Star Wars: Destiny. I had to go there anyway to pick up my folding table for Saturdays MtG league play for The Fenland Gamers. Yes I have a folding 6ft table. Yes I use it at work for gaming and marking students work.

I started off with a FunKar deck. It was modified from my initial effort. I had a deck list shared with me by Chris Shaner. Our decks were not too dissimilar. I didn’t have all of the cards that Chris had in his deck (mainly second copies of some of the weapon upgrades), so I infilled. I’d guess this was 90% the list he shared.

Dale played his action cheating eRey/Maz/Snap (I think that’s the right elite character). It’s his broken action cheating deck that apparently according to FFG isn’t a problem! 

How’d I do against this nasty deck? Out of 4 games, FunKar won 3, lost 1. I was playing FN-2199 much better than the previous time I played this deck. The two supports Imperial Inspection and Salvage Stand made a huge once I started using them. I had singles before and never played them! The new deck plays 2 of each, and having them out and in play made a big difference. Stripping resources, sending upgrades back into hand. The other tweaks had an impact too.

Emokids that is such a great name for this pairing. Whoever came up with it deserves a pat on the back.

I had tweaked the deck with some newly arrived cards that allowed me to improve my chances of drawing the card I wanted, or replaced some cards I wasn’t using.

The emokids were up against Dale’s new deck eBaze/eLeia. It’s an aggro deck. Dale it the perfect roll at one point, or near as with 11 points of damage sitting there ready to hit me. 

How did the emokids do? Out of 7 games Dale won 5-2. One or two of them were very very close games. It was nice to win a couple of games with this pairing at last. The only weapon upgrade I play is the Vibroknife. All other upgrades are abilities I can swap in using the Sith Holocron special.    

So adding up those scores Dale took the honours for the day 6-5. We have a rematch next week.

I’ll put deck lists up in the next week or so. Also I’ve changed my collection page to a page of cards I’m after (it’s a shorter list). 

Are you a toaster?

Yesterday Tiny Epic Quest snuck in and joined the Tiny Epic Galaxy Beyond The Black playmat in my “how much do the postal gods like me? challenge”. 

Some more targeted buys for Star Wars: Destiny also arrived. Which means I now have a playset of all the commons and uncommons for the Awakenings wave. I also have Luke now, so an eLuke/eRey build  will be something I start playing with pretty soon. 

In the afternoon a game I’ve wanted to get to the table for a longtime finally got to the table. As the Rock would probably say “Finally! Battlestar Galactica the boardgame has hit the table!” 

A day or two earlier Nath had said “there’s a boardgame?” when I told him of Saturdays plan. “Oh yes” was my reply.

Jeff, Nath, myself, Diego, and Monia boarded the Galactica to lead the rememants of mankind to their salvation from the cylon onslaught. But there was a hitch some of us were toasters. Whose soul intention was to stop us escaping and see the end of humanity.

There wasn’t many accusations flying around, or people being thrown into the brig. I think it happened just the once from a card effect near the end to Monia. However many a jokey comment was made through out the game, such as “well a cylon would say that” or “just what a cylon would say”.

Once you get used to the turn structure, which happens very quickly, the game hits a flow.

But why was that person checking something in the rule book? Was that the cylon pages? Why isn’t the President playing more quorum cards? Everything a player does comes under scrutiny. Oh the suspicion. 

I did find it frustrating at times having to wait for my turn sometimes. As Starbuck I was deadly in space piloting a viper. Especially with the aid of some of the pilot cards, which gave me four attacks at a time. Add that to the characters ability of getting an additional action if they are flying a viper at the start of my turn. So I was the ideal one to be out in space shooting up toasters. But timing just made it hard on a couple of occasions for me to do anything, because I had a full round of turns to wait out before I could jump into action.

All the characters felt different. From drawing different skills cards, different once a game ability, to different abilities.

Sadly with the finish line so close, the hidden toasters were triumphant.

It turns out Diego was married to a toaster, and Jeff proved there was no honour amongst kitchen appliances, when he admitted after revealing himself that he had been trying to deflect the accusations/suspicion onto Monia, who had towards the end been given the nickname by me of “Mrs Toaster”.

Nath and I had a great time playing the game. As did the others, well they said they had. Now the only problem is arranging getting the game back to the table.

Long overdue father son gaming session

Yesterday Nath and I got to play some games!

We started off with a favourite of ours 7 Wonders Duel. Our game went down to the wire or better described as the last card of the third age. The last card was a military card, one that pushed Nath to a military victory. If it had gone to points I’d have won. But sadly the last card of the game was for Nath. 

I then introduced Nath to the worker placement mechanic with Mint Works.

If I told you we ended up playing three games, that should tell you what Nath thought of the game. 

This is a really great, light introduction for “gamer lite” players to the worker placement mechanic. I also find it’s fun for “gamers” also as a quick scratch the itch filler game.

I followed up the success of Mint Works with Caverna: Cave vs Cave. Don’t think Nath enjoyed it much. Or that’s the impression I got from the fact our game got interrupted by tea, and Nath wasn’t bothered about finishing the game after we had finished eating.

Our after tea gaming was playing Star Realms. You’d think that being in the same room together we’d be playing the physical game. No we were using the app. Nath had finally re-installed the app on his phone. Which I was chuffed with because it means we can continue playing after he leaves. But we were sat there, next to each other, phones out, taking our turns. 

Although I talk about Star Wars: Destiny to Nath. I’m deliberately not letting him play it. I don’t won’t to hook Nath on the game. I can’t pass on my addiction and money pit to him. He’s a poor student at uni for starters.

Today we are seeing Dunkirk in the afternoon and then I’m taking to his first FEG@WL. Dunkirk should get us in the right frame of mind for the evenings gaming!