Category Archives: Game day

Abstract Sunday

Sunday afternoon saw Jonathan and myself meet up to play some abstract games from our collections.

First to hit the table was Santorini.

Would it be fair to describe Santorini as the gaming darling of the moment? I think it would be accurate to say Jonathan and I LOVE Santorini. 

As expected Santorini played brilliantly with two players. If you look at the image below you can see our god match ups. Each pairing we played both gods. Out of nine games Jonathan took the most wins. Yep you read that right. Nine back to back games. Which was only about an hour of playing. 
If Santorini isn’t in Jonathan’s collection by the end of the week I’d be shocked.

We followed Santorini with Qwirkle. I’ve written about Qwirkle before. So I’m not going to say much about it. For the record Jonathan beat me easily at this game. The number of qwirkles he scored really did make his lead unbeatable.

Then it was on to Volcano. An abstract game from Looney Labs using their pyramids.

I actually liked this game variant a lot. If I could just buy this as a single box I would. But the having to track bits down is a bit off putting. 

This game would look amazing played on a light box lighting up the coloured pyramids.

I felt the game ticked all the boxes for the way my brain worked. Which might explain why I won. 

The afternoons abstract gaming finished off with Jonathan introducing me to one from the gaming archive vaults Black Box. We didn’t really “play” the game. But more tasted it! It was more Jonathan introducing me to the game and it’s mechanics. It’s a nice logic, deduction game. Almost a more cerebral battleships! An interesting game.

Oh you missed the photo of me from the post about Friday. Well here is one of me working out the puzzle in Black Box.

A great afternoon of abstract games. Thanks Jonathan. 

Cards hate me

After yesterday it’s the only conclusion I can come to. 

In the Fenland Gamers it’s a running joke for games like Memoir ’44, Dark Moon, that Jonathan rolls badly. I’m usually the anti-Jonathan in those games and roll really well. Sometimes unbelievably well. It was the same when I played Dice Masters. Dice love me!

But the evidence yesterday is cards most certainly don’t.

Yesterday saw the 2017 Android Netrunner Store Championship for my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. It was probably the best attended event for Netrunner at the shop that I’ve been to with ten participants. Up for grabs alt art cards, deck boxes, play mats and a by at the regionals.

I’d spent an hour before going building/tweaking my two decks. Nothing like last minute adjustments. I was trying to fit in some of the cards from the latest data packs.

Due to numbers we were due four rounds of swiss followed by a cut for the top four who would then play for the top spot.

But there was a “grudge” match also going on. There were three members of the Critical Twits podcast taking part. Two of them, Aaron and Brian were competing for bragging rights, having been coached by Jo and Jamie (more seasoned players). 

The day started off so well. I was playing Chris, and our first game had me running. My rig was working. Chris wasn’t rezzing any ice. I was jumping into servers using blackmail and making it appear like I had hundreds copies of the card with Deja Vu and Same Old Thing. Much to Chris’s frustration. He hated those cards. Especially when afterwards you can trash one of his nice advanced unrezzed ice by playing En Passant.

Our second game was in hindsight a gentle indication for how the rest of the day would go. I was tagging Chris but not getting to my cards that would allow me to make use of those tags. But our game went to time and Chris got a timed win. 

My second round was against Jo from the Critical Twits podcast. His Max and keyhole  deck just took my NEH to bits. It was really a joy to watch it happening. I wasn’t landing tags, or if I did they weren’t around long enough for me to use them. I was just spellbound with the beauty of this Anarch deck.

Our second game saw his Jenteki deck just tear me a new one. It was a nasty, horrid experience. Trashing cards was stupidly expensive. And Jo kindly put me out of my misery quickly. 

The third round was against some-one called Tom. 

Our second game saw my NEH deck fail to keep any tags around. But it did reduce the only agenda scored by Tom down to a point. The game went to time again, with Tom winning by that single agenda point.

My final match of the swiss was Brian from the Critical Twits.

I ran first, it seemed evenly match for a while. I think I had four agenda points to six, when Brian removed my two blackmails from the heap. I was wishing I played three at this point. Which I may well do. I know the card I can take out to make room for it. But now I needed the funds to go in and steal agendas. I’d ignored Brian’s scoring server because he hadn’t advanced the card sitting behind it. Then he installed over it. Not enough cash to get in. One more turn was needed. Sadly it wasn’t going to come. Brian scored the final points he needed for the win. 

One piece of ice was all I drew in our second game, and that was a pop up window! I was just unable to stop Brian stealing the agendas he needed to win. All my ice, cool ambush cards etc never got drawn. I had two booms in hand! Brian felt guilty winning this game. But the cards really did hate me in this game.

Brian actually made the top 4. While Aaron was at the bottom with me. Our only prizes were two copies of the alt art pad campaign (must get that third to make a set).  However we did get a pity deck box each. Kindly given to us from two of the top eight winners. 

Before I left I did give Brian some advice on how to be a bad winner (not that I’ve had a lot of practice) to Aaron.

So my final score was 1 win, 7 losses.

A fun day playing Netrunner. What more could you ask for?

Well Nan not having a bad back. When I got back home Nan had been suffering with a bad back. Which was not helped by my little terrors Nico and Loki jumping all over her. They like to play their version of a territory boardgame over prime snuggling positions.

With Nan ill I was unable to use her dog sitting services to allow me to play the prolog for Seafall in the evening. 

So that was my Saturday. Lady Luck left me, just to prove that cards hate me. 

Wrath hits Wisbech!

It’s a good job I checked how many were attending the planned “Sinning again” event for The Fenland Gamers yesterday before heading off to it.

I thought it was just going to be Diego and myself. So had packed just 7 Wonders Duel with the Pantheon expansion, Hero Realms and newly arrived that morning Inis. 

However Will and Lucia had signed up also within the previous 24 hours. Which was a pleasant surprise, because our planned play was for them and Diego when I created the event the previous weekend.

So I quickly unpacked and threw in everything I had for The Others

Having everything with me allowed Diego, Will and Lucia to choose which pre-constructed team they played with.

They choose to go with The Sons of Ragnarok. A play on The Sons of Anarchy but using Norse Gods in biker outfits!

As the sin player I went with Wrath and he was backed up with Corrupted Doctors as his acolytes.

We went with a terror story called Haven in Flames. In this scenario there were no corruption checks, but lots of checks against damage by fire.

Once more as the sin I was victorious. But I was wondering about the scenario. It wasn’t until the last objective that I started to claw back into the game by stacking up the bodies of the heroes.

Having Wrath in a district with abominations and acolytes did make it very hard for the heroes to complete the final mission. I was rolling 14 plus dice in any fight. I used a similar tactic the previous game. I’m not sure how you stop this, and get a win for the heroes. At the moment this allows me to pick off heroes one at a time as they enter. 

Diego identified a mistake from their side in not playing their team correctly. I don’t think they were using their abilities to their fullest. 

But I also thought that this story unlike the previous one didn’t give the heroes much equipment. 

Playing as the sin is fun, and allows you as the sin player to ham things up a little. Letting out the odd evil chuckle or “muhaha” just as you play a sin card. Near the end the odd playful “I smell blood” before reacting helps lighten things up.

Having said that I do want to play as a hero next time. 

I do feel we still have a lot to explore with The Others. We have the different story types, different teams to try, different sins, team construction, Dark past cards.

So here is to the next chance to sin in Wisbech!

The Marcy Case

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t played this scenario yet you may not want to go any further on this post.




Right I’ve given you a chance to avoid this post and any included spoilers that it may or may not include.

“Save the cheerleader, save the world”, well nearly. In the second scenario The Marcy Case for T.I.M.E. Stories it’s “save the kidnapped girl”.

The first thing that struck us all for this scenario was the change in art style. This was very much more comic book style. But still looking bloody awesome.

We also had less characters to choose from, there are only four. Which worked for me. It cut down on some of the decision time of who to play. I ended up playing a former marine. My only critism here is that only one of the options was female, and she was a reporter. While the male characters were all badass types. Not very gender aware. Yes the scenario is in the 90’s but still women were doing awesome badass things then.

The main map was also a very different style to the floor plan from Asylum. Which I felt worked well. They could have gone for a street map, which I’m sure they may have considered. But the look they went with fitted in with the art direction a lot better than a street map would have.

We had a blast playing this scenario. Playing with the same group through the scenarios I think is important for the game. Shared experiences as you travel through the missions will then influence decisions, discussion, banter, etc. Even only having played the initial scenario before, we were had lots of laughs during the game referring back to the previous mission.

The Marcy Case is a scenario that once you know the “solution” can be optimised to about five locations, and minimum actions in each,to get to the end. Whilst in Asylum I didn’t get that “you can optimise this to a bare minimum” feel. I also felt that the main puzzle was easier than the puzzle in Asylum. It was more a process of elimination based on gathered evidence than a real puzzle.

Yes this is a zombie game. Or I should say infected. It has the usual cliches. But I’d say it has that kind of Resident Evil (especially the movie) vibe. City quarantined off, secret research, something gone wrong, etc.

Value for money? Five people (Jeff was acting as our DM again – which I’m very very grateful for again) – just over four hours playtime. I think we got more than our monies worth. Plus the time flew by. It didn’t seem that long at all.

We did complete this mission successfully this time. Which was a nice feeling.

I loved Asylum. But The Marcy Case for me just one upped that. I can’t wait for the next scenario next month. Yes we have sessions setup for all the currently released scenarios. With new ones due out any week now, we will be adding new dates to play them. I could easily play A Prophercy of Dragons today (Sunday the day after, and when I’m writing the post).

I do need to say a big thank you to The White Lion Hotel in Wisbech for letting us use their facilities for the afternoon. Great, friendly staff. Great facilities. Great beverages.

Chatteris Warlords Christmas Party

Yesterday was the Chatteris Warlords Christmas Party. Gaming and free food, the perfect Sunday afternoon!

Just for the record so that you know what all the cool kids are playing at the Chatteris Warlords and my FLGS The Hobbit Hole, it’s Blood Bowl. When I arrived at the Christmas Party there were three or four games of Blood Bowl on the go.

What surprised my was I saw a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse taking place and I didn’t laugh. It’s not my favourite superhero inspired game. It sits there at the bottom, a hairs width above the DC Deckbuilding Game.

Sadly I missed out in joining a game of Scythe. It was interesting to see how some-one else played Rusviet. Fate has dictated that I have only played Rusviet so far. Normally I build the Township mech first so I can grab a factory card early on. Hopefully being the first so I get the best choice of available options. Then I use the Rusviet ability to repeat the previous action to exploit that Factory card silly. Bob had gone River Walk first.

After correcting a rule misreading on combat and the loser being able to get a combat card as long as they had spent at least one combat point through either card or spending power. They were going to play it that you had to have spent a power, not a card if I remember correctly.

There was some confusion over the river walk ability amongst the players. I’m guessing that this was the first time they had played for most of them. I left them having that discussion to go play Small World.

My gaming for the Christmas Party started off with a game of Adventure Time Fluxx. Yes it’s Fluxx, so you either love it or hate it, just like marmite. I fall into the love it camp. Well love maybe too strong a word. I certainly like it, and enjoy playing it.

This was the first time I had played this version of Fluxx. I have to say I liked it. It’s a nice version with the keepers and creepers having different abilities that you can use. Especially because one or two of them allow you to steal keepers and creepers from in front of other players, allowing you to get that win condition you need to complete the current goal.

The BG Stat app will show that I won this game of Adventure Time Fluxx. What it won’t show is that it took me three attempts in a massive play all your cards turn to finally win. My first attempt was thwarted when an Action was played removing the goal that I had just played to win the game. My second attempt was down to my own unfamiliarity of the source material and getting characters mixed up. A mistake the others players took great delight in pointing out to me. But my third and final attempt to win was successful thanks to some great (if I say so myself) use of keeper and creeper abilities, and top decking a card or two that I needed.

My second game of the afternoon was losing once more at Batman the Animated Series Dice Game. I had the Riddler character, whilst my opponent had The Joker. Wow the Joker is a powerful character. Scoring an extra point for each set of coloured dice (yellow,blue, grey) that you have in front of you at the end of your turn.

Next up was a two player game of Braggart. Now there is some confusion as to whether this game has a minimum player count of two or three. The box clearly says two. However the rule sheet says three!

It does play ok as a two player game. Although I’m not sure about the Witness card being of any use. Unless you play a liar card on the other players boast, knowing you are now able to replace one of the cards with a lower value card, so instead you kind of then straight away play the Witness card so you can grab the highest value card for yourself! I kind of feel this is like going “LIAR!!!!!”, “Oh wait, nope my mistake it did happen like that”.

My final game of the Christmas Party was Small World. This is another one off my pile of shame. I’m not counting the game of it I played on my iPad.

This is a very nice game. I love the fantasy theme. Having the powers and race separate, and mixed at random when you create the “trade row” is a great idea. You can get some humorous combinations, and some really cool sounding ones (see photo above for an example). Plus it adds replayability. I like the variable cost to buying your race as well. The nearer to the pile of races and powers the more expensive your chosen race will be. But that money doesn’t go into the bank. No. You place one coin on each of the races before the one you want to buy. Then who ever buys one of those races with coins on also gets the coins that are on it. So there may be that situation that you may not want that particular race but the pile of coins sitting on it is too tempting.

There is also a surprising amount of depth to the game because of this variety, as you work out how to best exploit the abilities of the race you selected and it’s power. Some may require that you need to be in control of a particular land type, or that you have conquered territories possessed by others to get a bonus, or you might get a tactical advantage of some sort.

Then you have to decide when your current race has reached it’s limits and thus needs to be put into decline. Which then gives you the problem from the start of the game which new race do you select?

Haven’t got enough troops to do that final conquest before finishing your turn. Only short by between one and three units? Have no fear there are emergency forces on hand in the form of a dice that has values between 1 and three, plus a blank face. If the value of your forces and the rolled dice give you enough to conquer the chosen territory then you succeed. If it doesn’t your forces are forced to retreat to a territory you control.

After you have conquered new lands for your empire, it’s time to redistribute your forces. But where do you need to reinforce to protect your land from your opponents? More great decisions.

Yes I like Small World a lot. With expansions that add more races and powers, plus different maps. This game has a lot of room to grow.

Chatteris Warlords put on a very good Christmas Party that was family friendly, and a good time for all. Thanks for doing this folks.

Building Skyscrapers 

Mention building skyscrapers in New York to most people, and the majority of them will picture the sort of images below from the “golden” era of constructing the Manhattan skyline.

Indeed the cover of New York 1901 tries to invoke that very imagery.

Which is not a big surprise considering that is when the game is set!

Yesterday Les and myself met up to play a learning game of New York 1901.

Did it capture that golden era? It certainly does in the game components and art work. From your workers that you place on the board having girders, to the player score markers being these rather cool little skyscrapers. 

I think less so with the game mechanics. At the moment I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I’ll be able to put into writing what is just on the edge of my consciousness after another play.

I enjoyed New York 1901 as a two player game. But we didn’t have much competition for spots to build our buildings. With not much incentive to use our action cards. I can see this game being very cut throat, and competitive for spots with more players. 

The game does try and force that situation in a two player set up by removing the pink cards from the game. Which reduces the space players are building on and competing for. And in say a game like Kemet (yes I know a completely different style of game) where they do something similar in reducing the playing space for lower player count games. That approach works in Kemet and reduces the playing space significantly to make a difference. In New York 1901 I felt it wasn’t as effective at what it was trying to achieve. 

So before giving final thoughts on the game I’d really like to try the game with three or four players. I think it will play completely different. I also think my final conclusion will be that although playable with two players, don’t. But let’s wait for me to get this to the table with more players. 

Playing New York 1901 reminded me of a “soft” challenge I had set myself last October. Which was to get all of the city building style games I have to the table.

So within the BG Stats app I have now set up a new challenge to actually track my progress.

Technically it should be showing Dice City as played. However I played it before records began! So this challenge will be an excuse to get the game to the table again.

Christmas Meetup #1

Friday saw the first of the three Fenland Gamers Christmas meetups.

Having set it up in anticipation of playing it, our first game was Scythe.

Sadly the tables we were playing on were not quite big enough to play using the bigger extended board. 

Jonathan was playing the game for the first time. Keen to find out why this was my game of the year.

Once again, one bloody point! One point! 

I really thought I’d got my first win. For the majority of the game I was the only one placing stars on completed goals. Then Jonathan and Jeff managed to add one or two. I was trying to control as much territory as possible,which included me taking the factory. Although just before I ended the game, Jeff took one of the areas I had control of. This it would turn out cost me the game! 

Jonathan wasn’t too impressed and couldn’t see why it was my game of the year. There was a little frustration, but it was a learning game for him. I thought Jonathan did really well. Yes there mistakes. And he got into a situation Jeff and I hadn’t seen in our three previous games of a dead turn (not being able to do anything). 

My opinion of the game hasn’t changed. I love the fact among others, that triggering the end game does not guarantee that you have won. As I have proven. 

But what would our world be if we all had exactly the same tastes? Jonathan’s game of the year is The Voyages of Marco Polo. A really good game that I also really like. Jeffs is Mansion of Madness Second Edition, a game I will never buy because of the app, but I want to play it. 

I think if anyone bought one of our three games of the year they’d have a great gaming experience. They are all different style games, all great examples of their genre.

Oh I managed to get everything into one box. But boy is it heavy.

Almost forgot the history books will record the fact Jeff won. Boo!

“Tedious”, “too much like work” (I think I’ve paraphrased that correctly) are just two of the opinions expressed about Robinson Crusoe

Luckily not my opinion. I went in knowing failure was highly likely. For me the interesting bit was just how long would we survive? Just how bad would our beating be? 

Diego had joined us by now. This was a game he had wanted to play with us. It was a game I’d also wanted to play, hence its addition to my collection. We were playing the new English Portal edition.

We played the first scenario where we were tasked with having to build a signal fire to attract the attention of passing ships. 

I felt a sense of achievement that we survived so long before Jeffs character died ending the game. We were five or six turns from failing to signal the passing ship! Yeah we were struggling to build the signal fire.

This was a learning game for Jeff and myself. Jonathan had played before, owned the game in fact, and got rid of the game. It’s fair to say it’s not a favourite of his. Diego had the game back in Italy and enjoys it. 

I liked the game. I think it’s game that is going to take two or three games before I’m fully up and running on the rules. The rule book is very comprehensive! The Watch it Played video is forty minutes long.

This definitely needs an insert. I’ve not decided yet if I’ll make one (relies on me over coming my laziness) or buy one (requires me to redirect money and possibly construct it – see laziness comment).

Our final game of the day was Imhotep. This hasn’t hit the table since late June, early July time. We used the B side of the boards along with the two promo mini expansions  (private ships and Stonemasons wager ) that exist for the game. 

There was a little confusion over the wager element introduced by the promo mini expansion. So not a hit with the majority of the players. Although I didn’t mind it. The one use private ships on the other hand were a bigger hit.

One or two of the B sides weren’t enjoyed as much as their A side equivalents, like the obelisks and the burial chamber. However my preference is for the B sides.

Diego ran away with the win, while Jeff stole second place from me!

So an interesting gaming session with some conflicting opinions and experiences.

Yes I haven’t forgotten you need to feed that addiction to photos of balding middle aged men with beards. So here you go with some official Jonathan photos with me in. That should hold you for a day or two.

Naturally I topped off the afternoon and early evenings gaming with a trip to the local kebab establishment.

There are two more meets planned for the Christmas holidays. They are on the 28th and 30th. Further details can be found on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page.

Meaty Game Saturday

If I can (and I’ve said this before) I like to arrive early and set up. So that once the other players (Jeff and Diego in the case of yesterday afternoon)  arrive we can start playing straight away. 

Yesterday we were playing in the function room due to a third birthday party taking over our regular spot. I don’t envy those parents having to entertain kids that age.

So safely out the way we randomly selected our player boards and faction boards for Scythe.

This was Jeffs and mine third game of Scythe, Diegos first. But our first three player game.

An hour and a half or so is all it took for Diego to win. Which is nothing for a game like this. Plus the time just flies by.

But Jeff and I still really like Scythe. And now Diego has joined the fan club. 

Our second game was Cry Havoc.

We were still referring to the rule book for our second game of this. But this was a far better experience than the first game. 

With a couple of rules now played correctly, the aid of the faction tactics advice printed off the Portal site, this felt a lot better. It seemed we were using our factions to their abilities better. 

But despite this Jeff and I still lost to Diego. 

It’s so nice to get these meatier games to the table. And I’m fortunate that I have such great folks to play these games with, and a place we can play them.

A great afternoon gaming. Despite not winning for the majority of the games I felt I was in with a shot of winning. In fact it was only in the last round and a third in Cry Havoc that Jeff took me out of the running I think.

Can’t wait until Wednesday now for our monthly meet up and Rogue One.

Sinning in Wisbech!

I think I read or saw something like the following online in the previous year or so since CMoN started The Others Kickstarter, “The Others is Eric Lang’s Zombicide, if he created Zombicide”. I think I’ve paraphrased that correctly.

We all know how I feel about CMoN, and the saga that was this Kickstarter project for The Others. It involved lies and deceit, failures to communicate, and if you looked up in a dictionary the phrase “couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery”, you’d see pictures of CMoN staff.

So having gone all out on The Others (only thing I didn’t get was the artbook and prints) I was definitely going to be getting this to the table. The videos for The Others on the interweb are of varying quality. One or two that are reviewing the game, and going over the rules as part of the now cliched format, have mistakes. Mistakes that I found annoying and made the videos unwatchable for me. A bit like Suzanne on The Dice Tower mispronouncing names. It grates and just eats away at me every time they make the mistake.

Yesterday Jeff, Diego and myself met up at The White Lion to play The Others. We were using just the base game, along with the plastic tokens (instead of the cardboard ones), extra tentacle and heart counters, and lots of extra dice from all the expansions.

For this first play we followed the suggestion of the rule book of playing the Terror story Havan’s Last Stand. Out of the two layout options for the story we would be playing I chose the one that looked the easiest for the players to get around on. I was playing the sin. So I chose Pride, just because he looks so fricken cool. Probably the best looking model in the whole game, and that’s including the expansions

. Although Apocalypse comes pretty damn close. The acolytes chosen to help Pride and his minions in their quest to kill the men of FAITH, were the corrupted nuns.

I was disappointed that I only got one member of the Hell Club Flay out on the map.

So let’s look at what I liked about the game.

I did like the one versus many aspect of the game. It was fun playing as the sin. It works very well in this game. Having turn tokens that you flip when you take a turn works really well keeping track of when you take a turn, for both sides. This allows some flexibility in the order players take their turns, and more importantly the turn structure. It’s not a you take your turn, now I take my turn, then you take your turn etc etc. But more a you take your turn, do I want to react to what you have just done? structure. The sin player gets a turn counter for each player on the hero side. Whilst each player gets two turn counters. There are ways to get extra turns but we don’t need to know that here. So the sin player really does have to decide when they will respond to what a player is doing. Once they have used their turn tokens and the players still have tokens left, you are left there just watching the action unable to do anything about it.

Well that’s not entirely true. The sin player also has their own mini deck of cards. At the start of the game the sin player draws a starting hand of five. The sin player can play one of the cards from their hand per turn. So that’s on their own turn or a player’s turn. These cards are never nice for the heroes. At the end of the round the sin player gets to draw new cards (if they are able to).

And I like that, the tough choice of having to decide when to respond, and when/if to play a card.

I’d like to describe The Others as a streamlines Zombicide. And in some ways it is. Like the things a player/sin can do on their go. It’s move and take an action (fight or cleanse a space of sin tokens), possible use a city space to gain some cool benefit. Movement from a building is simple, no having to spend an action opening doors.

The map tiles are smaller than Zombicide, but similar in layout.

The corruption and wounds on the player boards is a brilliant mechanic. Being able to take corruption to gain an instant benefit when making a dice roll. But there is a nice push your luck element here. Being able to decide which corruption benefits you lose when placing wounds. It’s really nice.

Ranged combat, works nice. And I like that if any enemies that are still standing after the ranged attack try and move towards the attacker and return the favour.

While playing I did feel that during the early part of the game that the heroes had the upper hand. But as the game went on that slowly changed, with the sin player getting the advantage. Especially when the sin comes out on the board.

In one of the final fights I was rolling the combined dice for the sin, a controller, abomination, two acolytes. Which I think was like seventeen dice! Plus on top of that there was some extra dice from the re-roll mechanic. Naturally I totally destroyed the hero in that fight.

Yes there can be some luck in the dice rolling. But having a face that allows you to get an extra dice to roll, and on the hero side also set that face to whatever you want, is nice. But I don’t think that there is much you can do to mitigate bad dice rolling. But there are plenty of ways to boost the number of dice you are rolling, from having other players in the same space as yourself, equipment bonuses, taking corruption. On the sin side, making sure you have other monsters and pentagram tokens in the same space. There is a nice flow to the combat.

Having the stories with their paths and different objectives is nice, as is having a couple of options for the map layout. It’s nice giving the players a sense of control over the path that they take. It’s also nice that the stories are grouped into terror, corruption and redemption. Which focus on different things, like Terror stories are all about combat, while corruption ones are about the struggle with corruption, and redemption is about saving the city.

As a sin player I liked the apocalypse track, and the drawing from the  apocalypse deck. This helps redress the balance from the players having the advantage in the early stages to giving the advantage to the sin player in the later stages.

In our game Pride won, but it was getting close. The players only had Pride to kill to complete the final mission.

This was fun, and I did enjoy playing the sin. Jeff and Diego had fun playing the heroes. Next time we play I think I will bring everything along, and have the team building, choose a different type of story maybe. Even have someone else play the sin so I can try playing the heroes.

God I hate you CMoN. I love this game, but I feel so dirty now for wanting to play it again, and liking it so much.

Having played this one v many game, I’m very keen now to play the campaign of Imperial Assault.

Mechs and beverages

My game of the month for November is going to be so hard to choose. Contenders so far, T.I.M.E. Stories, Kemet, Cry Havoc, and the subject of today’s post and Saturdays gaming session, Scythe.

Saturday saw me playing Scythe with Jeff. I’d had a small piece of luck that morning when the metal coins for the game turned up in the post.

Wow! What an amazing game. Boy does it live up to the hype.

First off the game is beautiful. The art is amazing, and I have to admit I’m so tempted to try and get the art book now. The quality of everything else with the game is also really good. There is a lot of attention paid to details, such as little cut outs on player boards to keep cubes etc in place, and to show where they go.

You get two little containers for the wooden tokens. Now I prefer the wooden tokens to the realistic ones you can buy. Plus the board is doubled sided, with the second side being a larger board. So less crowded, but needs the board expansion too to use.

I love the alternate history 1920’s theme, and the art, minis etc really bring this out.

This is not a small game. You will need a large table to play on. Luckily our venue The White Lion has an amazing, easily 12 foot wooden table we are able to play on. Which easily accommodates a game the size of Scythe.

You’d think looking at the game that it was complicated and hard to learn. But oh no, this is very easy to learn and pick up. Plus between Watch It Played and Jamey Stegmaier’s YouTube videos you can be playing this without touching the rule book. But the rule book is pretty good, I found it clear and easy to follow. Unlike a couple of recently played games where we found the rule book lacking. 

There are some nice little player aid cards that summarise turns, mech river crossing powers, even suggest for new players things to try on their first few turns. Plus there is a large player aid sheet too! Yeah I like this player support.

Surprisingly the game is rather quick to set up. The previously mentioned player boards with the cut outs definitely aid in this as does having information on individual player setups on the player and faction boards.

Having asynchronous player abilities, means there is a lot of replayability. Plus the unique abilities don’t seem over powered. 

The taking an action and not being able to take the same one twice in a row (unless you have the character I was playing). Along with each action having two parts that you may or may not do, it’s up to you. It’s a really neat mechanism that gets you thinking about action order.

The upgrade mechanic is really nice. You take one cube from the top row on the player board and place it in an allowed spot in the bottom row. This has the effect of making that ability where the cube was from more rewarding when taken. And the bottom option where it was placed cheaper to take next time. 

I like the enlist mechanics also a nice touch. You get a maximum of four of these recruits, each one when recruited gives an instant bonus, (you chose from the four available on your faction board, once taken it’s gone) plus then an on going bonus when ever a person on your right or left uses that ability. So it becomes important that you keep an eye on what other players are doing each turn.

I really like the factory mechanic. Get to the factory space and you are able to choose a factory card that gives you an extra action you can chose to take on your turn. You are only allowed one of these. So getting to the factory space first gives you the pick of the litter, and not having to choose scraps. However in our second game I wanted all three. It was really hard choosing just one.

When you do an event with your character it’s a joy. You get to first draw an event card and see a painting of beauty. Then you have to choose one of the three options (unless you have an ability that allows you to chose two like Jeffs faction did). The options tell a little story based on the scene depicted in the painting, and give a reward that might have a cost to it. A lot of time must have been spent crafting these little descriptions because they convey so much of the theme along with the painting. Genius.

Battles are rather cool. They are not the forgone conclusion you think they’d be. A combination of spending up to a maximum of 7 points (depending how many you have) and combat cards to boost the final score. With the highest final score winning. Very streamlined, very quick and easy.

Objectives add more replayability to the game. You get two at the start and can only complete one of them. These are random each game. In our second game I didn’t even attempt to complete mine.

It’s possible to end the game and still lose. Which is what happened in our second game. I was really going for it, completing stuff as quick as possible to get my stars out. My final two stars to get out and end the game were battles that I had to win. But at that point I had enough battle cards and points to get those victories. 

But Jeff had better popularity than me, which along with having got buildings out in end game scoring positions, gave him just enough points to get the win.

Even losing both games I had a blast. The time flew by, it never felt like we had been playing for 3.5 hours or so. 

This is an amazing game. Can’t wait to play it again. I do regret not backing this on Kickstarter. But I do have a Kickstarter special edition which is basically the basic game plus promos. To which I’ve pimped it out with the metal coins as you know. But I have the board extension on pre-order along with the expansion and new $50 metal coins that the expansion introduces. 

Just go buy this you won’t regret it.