Category Archives: game night

game night

FEG@WL 19May17

Friday hits once more. Earlier in the day Dale kindly had a learning from the rule book game of Blood Bowl Team Manager (BBTM) with me. A game that he beat me at. Which is ok, I beat him twice at 7 Wonders Duel the previous day.

I’d been wanting to get BBTM ever since it made its way in to my collection many many moons ago now. Sadly if you wanted to buy it for your collection now you will have to pay the now obligatory stupid prices for it. Thanks FFG and Games Workshop. Why couldn’t you try and make your relationship work? Think of the gamers! Think of the gamers! Yeah thanks to their failed relationship BBTM along with the expansions are never ever going to be reprinted (well Games Workshop possibly could I suppose, but if they did you’d probably have to cut the tree down, make pulp etc to produce your own cards for the game.) Luckily while both companies are trying to prove to each other they are doing fine and have moved on, I managed to get the Sudden Death expansion for a normal price. But I’ve not managed to find a good price for the other expansion Foul Play.

I really enjoyed this area control card game. As a two player game it worked. You are managing your hand, hopefully drafting more players (cards) or even abilities that you can use during play. Dale had one upgrade that gave him two points when he lost.

I would like to try the game with the higher player counts. I think it would be more chaotic, especially when playing for trophies.

Jonathan was going to arrive a little late, so Charlie, Chris, Edmund and myself played a game of Love Letter Batman. Edmund rushed away with an early lead. But Charlie managed to come back and grab the victory. Luckily Chris and I managed to at least get a point to our names so we weren’t completely embarrassed.

With Jonathan joining us it was time to decide what to play. Chris’s Zombicide Black Plague was out. Fantasy has no place what so ever in a zombie apocalypse. The zombie apocalypse is shopping malls, prisons, tower blocks, underground bunkers. Not bloody dungeon and dragons! Yeah that’s in bold for you Chris and CMoN. It’s WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

In a moment of pity we relented and decided we’d play Terraforming Mars. A game Jonathan had wanted to play. 

So we all tried to Terraform Mars. We didn’t use the drafting option for cards. Which would have increased the play time. But it might have improved my chances of getting cards I needed to play others in my hand. I needed science symbols but wasn’t seeing them.

But still it was fun with the higher player count. Chris went on to win the game. 

If a Friday Evening Gaming starts with bubbles on the top of my grown up beverage, then it finishes with the suspicious meat. I’d avoid this part of the evening since I had that gall stone attack. But you only live once. It was time to taste that oh so so greasy meat drowned in chilli!

Well I’m writing this post the next morning. So I survived that wreckless decision at the end of the evening. I rolled the dice and I won!

A most excellent Friday 

Friday was turning into a pretty good day. External moderators for the two awarding bodies we use for our courses passed the units they had been verifying. This basically means they agree with how we’ve marked the students work, and that the work produced meets the criteria for the mark given.

I find it a little stressful in the run up and during the actual moderation. It’s making sure everything is “perfect” and easy for the moderator. Then the waiting. If the moderator finds something wrong or disagrees with the marking I don’t want it to be mine. I don’t want to let the team down. I don’t want to let my line manager down.

That last bit is very important. I didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to have a manager like I have now, again! When my manager and friend Julie unexpectedly died on 4th June 2014, it hit me pretty hard. She had been the best manager I’d had in a life time of working. She had inspired, encouraged and supported. I’d have done anything for her. Yes I’m a blindly loyal foot soldier. It had been earnt. I’d grown professionally and had been doing new things, thanks to Julie. But lightning has struck twice. My current manager in her own style is the same, and earnt the same loyalty. So yes I wouldn’t want to let her down either. 

When we heard the good news from both moderators there was a feeling of great relief and happiness. 

I took in my V60 drip, Hario coffee server that works with my V60, and a Pact Coffee to work to make coffee for the team. It was Darren’s Pop Up Coffee Shop this morning.

The coffee I took in was a limited edition roast called El Campanario. The photo below tells you all you need to know about this amazing coffee. 

Making coffee with the V60 is very theatrical. The V60 on top of the server, pouring hot water precisely over the filter to clean it with a goose neck metal jug, the bloom, the pouring over the coffee. Pure theatre. Plus I love the whole process, and find it therapeutic.

But it is also very precise. Baristas weigh and time when using the V60 so they get consistency. I weigh at home when brewing coffee this way. But no scales at work were used. 

However the most important factor that trumps everything else is having a great coffee. I think the El Campanario roast is just that.

Now they said they liked the coffee I made. But there is always a bit of me that says “liar, you are just saying that to be kind to me”. Although I was fairly happy with the final product I was putting out. I think that says a lot about me. 

A bloody great start to the weekend.

The celebratory pint of Thatchers cider at The White Lion once I got there tasted extra nice. I’d just been served when Edmund turned up. Drinks in hand we retired to the restaurant area and that awesome large heavy wooden table, 

While waiting for others to turn up I taught Edmund Onitama. I won the first game, and then lose the next two games. 

Near the end of the third game Chris arrived with his newly arrived copy of Terraforming Mars. Plus news that Jonathan was not going to make it due to some life stuff cropping up. There was no sign of Debbie and Nath who said they were coming. 

Terraforming Mars was on the short list of remaining must play games of 2016 I hadn’t played (Clank and Vast are the remaining ones I think). So this opportunity to play it was very much appreciated. It’s also one Jonathan wants to try. And also joins a short list of games he’s missed out on playing that he wants to play! So it might have been insensitive posting a photo of the game to show him what he was missing. But also funny. 

Yeah, Terraforming Mars is good fun. I really enjoyed it. 

It’s basically an engine building game. You buy cards into your hand, then pay to use them. Some of those cards are one off use and are not part of your engine. The others go in front of you and make up your engine for the game.

Now I won. But I wasn’t expecting to. Chris had far more cards in his engine. But the difference between mine and his cards, and Edmunds was I was adding a lot of cards that had victory points on them.

Edmund and I had also done much more terraforming of Mars than Chris. So we were further up the terraforming track than Chris. Mine was mainly due to planting forests (more points at the end) and placing oceans. 

I realised after my final turn I could have had an extra five points and claimed a milestone. Having milestones you can claim is a nice touch. As is sponsoring an award. Which means at the end the player that had the majority in what the award is for, for instance science symbols gets 8 points (?) and the runner up gets 2 (?). Only three awards can be sponsored and the cost goes up for doing so each time. So it pays to be early for the award you want to go for.

There could have been a drafting element to the game (one of Jonathan’s favourite game mechanics – not!) – but we decided that variant could wait for a future play. 

I thought the different coloured and sized cubes representing money would be confusing, and I’d keep forgetting the values. But I didn’t. The cubes were also multi use and also represented resources such as plants and energy!

I had heard that the production quality of the game wasn’t great. But I didn’t have a problem with it. It’s not Stegmaier games quality but it’s ok. Not as bad as I had been led to believe. 

There is a take that element in the game. It’s not massive, and mainly as far as I can see it’s a remove resources thing mainly. Slowing an opponents engine down.

The question for me really is I liked the game. But how much? Enough to want in my collection? I think it’s border line, leaning to yes. It may not be top of the purchase list (Great Western Trail is higher up).

An amazing Friday. 

Other gaming this week…

Dale and I have played a couple of games of Star Wars: Destiny. These games were our first where we constructed our decks. I played both games with Jyn and Rey. My deck is leaning towards being a control deck. Where I’m denying my opponent the ability of doing stuff by forcing them to discard cards, removing dice etc. 

Dale’s first deck was Kylo and two tie pilots. But his deck was a third invalid cards we noticed while playing. His second attempt at a deck was Kylo and death trooper I think. As Dale said yesterday his deck is more an agro deck. 

Although Dale won both games they were very very close games. They came down to if I hadn’t been taken out on Dale’s action I’d have taken Dale out on my action.

Monthly Meet Up May 17

Last night at the Fenland Gamers Monthly Meet Up we played a game! 

Yep just a single game. Because last night we played Viticulture with five players. Two of which had never played it before.

The BG Stats app will show that Katie emphatically won the game. It won’t show show Katie took that win away from Jonathan at the last minute. Or how I made a last desperate dash to take third place and hit 20 points.

A great evenings gaming. Great company. The next monthly meet up will see our hauls from UKGE competing to be played.

Yog-Sothoth Rises

Last night six fool hardy investigators bravely attempted to stop the rise of Yog-Sothoth.

Despite delaying the Ancient One by pushing the doom track back three times early on, three investigators making the ultimate sacrifice, Yog-Sothoth crossed dimensions to start their rule of the planet.

The first mystery card drawn spawned an epic monster called Dunwich Horror. This was one tough mother fecker. It’s health was the number of players plus two. So eight in total. I spent all of the game trying to take out the beast with bits of help from the other investigators. 


Because my investigator was Diana Stanley the reformed cultist, her ability meant instead of a horror score of three to defeat using a single dice, it was reduced to one. So if I failed I was only losing one sanity. While my fellow investigators would lose between one to three sanity depending on how cruel the dice decided to be. On the combat side I could cast my wither spell to pump Diana up to negate the minus two inflicted by the Dunwich Horror. Still thanks to hateful dice I wasn’t inflicting great amounts of damage. One or two points at most in an encounter. 
By the time Yog-Sothoth appeared there were six points of damage inflicted on the epic monster. Which I had done the majority of. Two fellow investigators had been driven mad. 

I just knew that one of the other investigators was going to come along and claim the credit for its defeat. But on our final round before defeat I inflicted another point of damage before another investigator went insane in their skirmish with the Dunwich Horror and ended the game.

We had lost and not even completed a single mystery.

It had taken us roughly two and a half hours to fail the world. All the setup had been done before everyone had arrived. So for six players I thought that was pretty good. I don’t think I’d like to play the game with more than that. 

Despite losing we had fun. And that’s the point really, enjoying the journey as you hurtle to certain doom!

Three is the magic number

Last night saw three like minded souls yearning to throw dice, play cards and push round cardboard, meet up and play games at the weekly Fenland Gamers meet up “Friday Evening Gaming @ The White Lion”.

While waiting to see if anyone else was going to turn up, we started off with a game that was quick to play so that any late comers weren’t hanging around bored. The game we chose that fitted that profile perfectly, and at the top of my small games box was Mint Works.

While setting up I was “entertaining” Charlie and Diego with my previous play of the game of how I crushed Scott, with a record breaking 18 points. Ok it sounded more like boosting. But 18 points is an incredible score in Mint Works. A winning score is usually 7 – 9 points. So yeah I’m boosting about that play.

But they say pride comes before a fall. And I did fall. I managed to get a massive 4 points to claim last place. Diego and Charlie drew on 7 points a piece. But just like I have been in the past on a couple of occasions, Charlie was denied a victory by the tie rules for the game. Diego had the smaller neighbourhood so was given the technical win.

No one else had turned up during our game of Mint Works. So it was time for a heavier game.

After a little indecision Imperial Settlers was hitting the table. I haven’t played this game in a longtime. Which is shameful really. This is a great game. Luckily I have it well organised. Which you have to with all the expansions. It was easy for me to just pull out the core games faction and common decks.

Charlie was playing the Barbarians, I was the Japanese and Diego was the Egyptians.

Naturally with such a long time between plays mistakes were made, rules referenced. 

But after the five rounds and the final tally of points I managed to claim the victory by a single massive point.

To be fair to Charlie I don’t think the cards were kind to him. And they were very kind to me. Diego they were ok with.

Charlie rocks at Perudo. He totally owned Diego and me in our two plays of this classic bluffing game.

Our final game of the evening was Love Letter: Batman. Ok I’m a Batman fan, so it has me there. But it’s funny how a simple rule tweak elevates this version above that of the original. It’s so simple, play the Batman card, guess correctly and get a token. It gives another way for players to score, can shorten the play time. Genius.

The BG Stats app will show I won our game of Love Letter: Batman. It won’t show the fun we had. The multiple times I got The Joker as my first card, and knocked out early. Or the bullet I dodged when Diego played the last Poison Ivy on himself when I had The Joker that gave me the game. 

A great evening of gaming. Thank you guys.

The Fenland Gamers have their monthly meet up next week, followed by the usual FEG@WL. Hope to see you there.

It’s cold outside

Fridays come round so quickly, especially on a week that starts with a bank holiday.

Diego and I arrived at the hotel at the same time. So while waiting for others to arrive we went for that micro worker placement experience by playing a couple of games of Mint Works. Diego and I shared the honours, one win a piece.

During our second game Edmund arrived, closely followed by Chris. We had enough to start playing a more weightier game, But what?

Edmund had recently been watching some “classic” Tabletop episodes, and chose the modern zombie survival, hidden traitor classic by Plaid Hat Games Dead of Winter.

Our overall objective for survival was guns and food. When doesn’t it?

But who was our traitor? One of the others at this table was going to betray the rest of us to meet their own secret agenda. Our failure would be their success.

The way things were going in our game no one obvious was acting suspiciously. Maybe my actions were making me look like the traitor. My Secret Objective was to make sure none of my group had wounds at the end, along with the successful completion of our main goal. I can see how constantly healing my characters could look suspicious.

Two rounds left on the clock, two morale remaining. We were not in a great position for succeeding. Then Chris made a great observation. If we exile some-one we needed less to meet our objective. I knew Chris was going to nominate me once it got round to him. I could see it in his eyes. Luckily on the end round I was group leader. I broke ties! So at the end of my turn I called a vote to exile Chris and his two dice. A vote that ended in a draw. A draw I decide on. Chris and his survivors were thrown out into the cold brutal night to fend for themselves. 

Naturally I’d forgotten one thing in my cunning pre-emptive plan. Chris had most of the guns we needed to win. Ok we were still short on the food front too. Bugger!

So we failed our mission. The zombies and Dead of Winter won.

The photo below is how this excellent evening ended for me.


But my night doesn’t end there with low quality greasy meat.

At 1am I woke up with a severe pain in my side, roughly where my kidney was.

The pain was incredible.

I phoned mum next door to come and get the dogs and call the emergency services. 

The pain was so bad. But it didn’t end there. No I was being sick too. 

Excruciating pain, being sick, it doesn’t get better than that. Well throw in sweating and shivering, and you get what my three hours were like before finally an ambulance arrived. 

They immediately put me in the ambulance after taking one look at me. Although my pain at that point was a 6/7 out of 10. When it was hitting 10, I was writhing on the floor. 

Inside I was given that gas used for pain relief by pregnant women during delivery. That’s good stuff. Twenty puffs of that, and that 6/7 was gone.

By the time we got to the hospital the pain had stopped. But they needed to do the checks etc. So biological samples were taken, readings made. But at this point it was like bolting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

The medical theory was that I’d had a gallstone move into a duct. 

I was prescribed some pain killers incase it happened again. And told to see my GP for a CT scan to check things out, especially if it happened again.

I was free to return home, have a snooze, recover and write this post.

Another great start to the weekend.

Stain glass craft

Have you ever read/seen/heard Misery by Stephen King? If you have then after hearing Lucia give an update on Will last night, you couldn’t help having the image of Annie Wilkes and the author Paul Sheldon, in that infamous hobbling scene in your head. 

That’s despite the proof of life photo (below) that Lucia bought in to show us.

So after laughing at Wills mishaps last night. Lucia, Jonathan and myself sat down to play Sagrada

Sagrada had arrived on Tuesday, typical after the Easter break, and I’m back at work. I’m really not impressed with Shipnaked, the distribution side that a lot of Kickstarter projects use.

This game is stunning. It’s almost a cliche I feel to say so. There are a lot of gorgeous games being made these days. But still it’s hard to not fall back on this cliche to describe the game. It’s bright, attractive. You can’t not think of stain glass windows looking at the box. 

Not to disappoint the production quality of the game is out of the park also.

I’d had a learning game earlier in the day with Dale. Where it turns out we misplayed a rule.

Sagrada has a nice puzzle element to it on the dice placement. That kind of reminded me of a bit of Roll For America and it’s placing of numbers.

It’s a quick game to learn, the rules are not that complicated. So quick to teach as well. Although the rule book could do with a page extra containing further explanations of some of the the tool cards.

There is potentially a lot of variety in the game, via the different player boards, randomly assigned hidden objectives, and randomly drawn open objectives and tool cards (used to manipulate the dice in some way).

Having a number of favour tokens (dependent on the player board selected) to spend on using the tool cards, is a great way to control when and how often a player can use these dice manipulation powers. It means you can’t just use them willy nilly but have to weigh up when to use them. 

The dice drafting worked well. And I liked using the last remaining die as the round marker.

I did find sometimes that it was a bit too cramped on the player board when placing dice. So sometimes you were knocking dice out of position. Curse my giant hands!

I like the fact they included a social media bragging card. It’s a little thing but it’s fun.

Lucia won our first game, with me winning the second, and becoming the new Master Artisan.

Yeah another great Kickstarter that delivered on its promise. 

We finished the evening attempting to save the world from disease by playing Jonathan’s dice game (although he hasn’t played Dice Masters or Star Wars Destiny) Pandemic: The Cure

Luckily for the rest of you we were successful in finding cures and cleaning up a disease ridden world.
Ok here is the bit you suffered for. I hope the pain of the rest of the post was worth it.

Monthly Meet Up – Mar 17 

“Can you come out to play an hour earlier tonight?” I asked Jonathan in the playground.

“Sure” he replied.

So an hour before the Fenland Gamers monthly meet up (which is every second Wednesday of the month) Jonathan and I met up to play a couple of two player abstract games.

First to the table was my latest arrival Onitama.

The presentation and components are stunning for this game. The autumn brown tones fits so well the “theme” of the two competing martial arts schools. The box a welcome break from the normal boardgame fare is long and rectangular, with a magnetic clasp. The board is a playmat, which I love. The player pieces are a solid plastic and look great. The cards used in the game have a nice clean design, with thematic text on. Yeah I love how this game looks. Visually it’s great.

The game can be explained and learnt in under five minutes. But there is a lot of depth there underneath. You are having to think several moves ahead. Also keeping an eye on the moves your opponent has and will be getting.

By only using a random subset of the card pool each game for the player moves there is a lot of variety and replayability.

I can see the chess like reference that others have said about the game. It certainly does have that feel to it.

The games are quick to play. Jonathan and I played two games (that I won) in fifteen minutes.

So did Tom Vasel choose wisely for his Dice Towers Essentials line? You bet. Tom has found a classic here, and the publisher has done an amazing job on the presentation front. This is in such a great size box you can easily see it being taken in a bag on holiday or carried to the pub to be played. I can see this being played in parks and pubs, just like chess. 

We followed up Onitama with a game or two of Santorini

In our first game Jonathan’s win was tainted, because technically I should have won. He had failed to notice my next move was to win and built a ground floor building instead of a dome. I went “wow I’m surprised you didn’t go there”. Then Jonathan saw the move, I allowed him to retake his go. As you do in friendly games. Jonathan had been too busy trying to avoid my pieces to have notice the correct move. It was a game of avoiding each other’s pieces. I had Medusa so could build on top of his pieces if I was above them to remove them from the board. Whilst Jonathan had Bia. Which meant if he moved into a space and one of my pieces were in an adjacent space in the same direction of movement they two would be removed from the board. It was an interesting dance, that saw me building ontop of one of his pieces to remove it, a minor victory, but Jonathan went on to get the win.

We squeezed in a couple more games before it was time for the monthly meet to start. But both Onitama and Santorini are prefect examples of two great abstract games that are quick to learn, quick to play, and great as “filler” games when you have the odd ten minutes to fill. The only problem they have is you always want to play one more game!

Before the meet Gavin and I had arranged, well discussed with possibly a commitment to play Dice City.

I had recently part exchanged the base game along with my Dice Masters collection for Gavin’s copy of  Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small. So we were both keen to get it to the table. I wanted to play it again (with the All That Glitters expansion), and Gavin wanted to play it after his weekend opportunity to get it to the table fell through.

So Gavin, myself and Katie set up to build cities in Dice City. While Jonathan, Chris and Edmund tried saving mankind in  Pandemic: the Cure (I think with the expansion).

While waiting for us to finish our game of Dice City the other group had a game of Colt Express. A game that splits our game group. Gavin doesn’t like it (hence why he traded his copy away), Jonathan isn’t keen on it, while Chris and myself enjoy it.

I liked what All That Glitters added to the game. It wasn’t making major rule changes, just gave a new end trigger, some new cards and a universal resource. You’d not really know it wasn’t part of the base game.

Katie took a military route for her city. Which thankfully wasn’t turned towards attacking Gavins and my cities, or stealing our resources. She instead concentrated on stopping bandits.

Gavin had a little military. So was doing the odd raid against bandits (also for going attacking neighbouring cities). But his main focus seemed to be buildings that generated victory points (vp). So when he activated those buildings he was getting upto five vp a time.

Me? I was generating a resource creating engine. Which did nab me two ten point trader ships. That did counter some of Gavins vp grabbing each turn. I was also going for as many high value vp buildings as possible. I did trigger the end game by completing two rows of buildings.

Gavin with his vp engine won the game.

After our game of Dice City, we were then waiting for the train robbing to finish. So we broke out a “filler game”. 

The one I chose was Council of Verona. Which was handy because I had just got the Corruption expansion. An expansion that had proved rediculously hard to get in the UK and expensive. Luckily on the off chance I had looked back on Amazon and found it at its normal price, but shipped from the US. Why this nice little game of bluffing and deduction is so hard to get hold of I don’t know.

Naturally we played with everything, the Poison and Corruption expansions.

Tokens and corruption cards were played. I thought my plans were working. 

Poisons killed, corruption cards bluffed, agendas failed to complete. I poisoned Juliet! Our game ended in a three way zero point draw!!!

I liked how Council of Verona played with everything included. The new levels of bluffing or manipulating the game board. Wow. 

Our final game of the evening was a six player game of 7 Wonders. For me this is the maximum number of players I’d play the game with. (The minimum I’d play with is four.)

Chris won the game, I came in second just. I beat Gavin into third place by a point.

7 Wonders was a great way for the evening to end. Bringing everyone together for a game. Plus it plays reasonably fast for the player count. 

A great evening of gaming once again! We are so lucky in our club that everyone (including me!) are so nice and relaxed. There is competition when playing but it’s not the be all and end all, and no one is a dick about it. We have banter but it’s friendly and not a hint of nastiness. Great people. 

Looking forward to our next session.

Bluffing And Lunar Bases

Back after it’s break for a charity all night gaming session, it’s FEG@WL.

The three amigos met up to enjoy alcohol and good games. Or it could be the other way round. 

Our gaming started off with my game of the month for March, Mint Works.

I thought I was out of the running after turn one when Jonathan and Diego got two strong buildings straight off. But turn two I was going first, bought a one cost building and flipped it for a five cost using the swap meet location. I had the vault which with two plans gave me four points, plus the crane and iirc the landfill for eight points. The other two just didn’t get going and finished on four points each. I’m calling this a surprise victory. Jonathan had the Assembler from turn one. That’s a powerful card, autobuilding so so good.

Perudo, Liars Dice doesn’t matter what you call it, it was our second game of the evening. House of Borgia (which we like) had reminded us that Perudo is a fun game. So it was only a matter of time before we had it back to the table. Dice and cups, it doesn’t get simpler than that really for components to a game. Well maybe just a deck of cards.

But this bluffing game is just so much fun. Which you can tell from Jonathan’s thinky, bluffy face below.


It’s just one of those one more go type games. Rounds are fast and fun. We ended up playing three rounds of the game. Diego won one, I won two. Jonathan came close to winning but sadly didn’t. 

I feel guilty (I think that’s what I’m feeling, I’m not sure, I’ve not felt this way before) about writing about this next game we played. The reason is unless you backed the game on Kickstarter you won’t be able to get a copy! 

Oh the game? It’s one that has been in my pile of shame for about a year (minimum, since the Kickstarter completed basically) called Lunarchitects.

Why can’t you get a copy? Well it’s complicated. Lunarchitects is a rethemed updated version of Glen More (which is an impossible game to get in English).  And that’s where the complicated bit comes in. This wasn’t an official update, and it gets murky over whether the original designer gave his blessing etc. At one point Glen More’s publisher promised a reprint of the English version of the game (which I believe they still make noises about) but hasn’t happened yet. But the designer of Lunarchitects I think as part of heading off any legal stuff restricted things to Lunarchitects so it wouldn’t be hitting your nearest FLGS, and would only be for the backers of the project.

I also don’t think I’ve ever seen any copies up for grabs on the Facebook selling and trading pages I’m a member of. 

The production values for Lunarchitects is good. One of the nice touches is the insert. It organises everything perfectly. The tile organiser is even removable. 

If you like Glen More, then you will like this simple. We played with the suggested default end of round and game scoring. But you can change this. Which is a nice touch that changes tactics in game, and adds to the replayability.

Your starting tile is double sided, and you get to choose which sides starting bonus you want. Again a nice little touch.

The end of round scoring worked better for me. With it triggering when the last player to take their turn passes the start line.

The only thing that seemed a little messy the ending of the game and final round.

The iconography was simple and easy to pick up on the tiles. 

There is even a little expansion included that we didn’t play with. There is a fair bit of replayability and variety in this game.

Yeah we enjoyed the game. I surprised myself in winning! I wasn’t generating nearly enough resources as the others to buy tiles. So was going with free stuff. But still I was able to pull off combos, trigger tiles extra times. So it’s good to see that there can be a variety of tactics based on tiles bought to win by, and not just a who can get a resource engine going the quickest.

Another great evenings gaming, great company, great beverages. ‘Nuff said.

Do I have to tell you how I finished off the evening? Regular readers will know already. Oh ok I know you want me to admit it ended in an orgy of spiced lamb flesh and chilli sauce. It was greasy and I loved it! There I said it. Feel better?

Tomorrow it’s time to end the tyranny of King Joffrey in A Game of Thrones the Boardgame.

My Epic Long Friday!

My work day usually starts at approximately 5am, with me waking up to the days news on Radio 5 Live playing. This Friday it was 4:45am. So it was the tail end of Up All Night playing.

The dogs then get let out to answer the call of nature. I have a bath listening to my current audio book American Gods. Which I’m still listening to as I make my first coffee of the day using my Aeropress. I savour my coffee while watching the latest episode of Scandal, and eat a couple of chocolate chip brioche. 

After Mum collected the dogs I got dressed, packed my work stuff, and hit the road for work.

I’m listening to classic 8-bit chip tunes from the likes of Galway, Hubbard and Whittaker  for the Commodore 64 as I bounce around the Fenland back roads.

My second mug of coffee for the day is at work as I troll my friends with horror stories of my mums cooking. They aren’t biting today. I’m going to have to try harder.

My logic for the day is to stock up on calories for the nights endurance gaming! So I nip along to the college restaurant to buy a breakfast bap (sausage, bacon and egg). But I luck out, they are doing a full breakfast (add beans, mushrooms and fried bread to the mix) for £2.50. Fantastic value. 

The previous day the Rey starter for Star Wars Destiny had arrived. So I’d taken both starters and the playmat to work for myself and Dale to play lunchtime.

I’d been watching a lot of Destiny videos during the week to have a good idea of how to play the game.

Damn I hate you FFG. 
After our “learning” game I just want to get some boosters, crack them open, build some decks and play them.

So that may spoil how I feel about the game. But yes I liked it.

We were a bit slow playing, I think this was the first time Dale had played a game like this. But the game isn’t too complicated. There is a nice flow to the game. I take an action, you take an action, repeat.

I like the pass action, so you can wait and see. Well unless the other player also passes and that then ends the round and you are into upkeep. 

Having the base with an ability is cool. Plus all the mechanisms round it. From the roll off for who gets to select the base to use for the game (both players bring one to the table), the one selected chooses first player, and the player going second gets two shields. Then in the game claiming the base is an action, allowing you to use the bases ability, it then means you go first next round. However it also means you can not do any further actions that round. When to claim is a very tactical decision. Being first next round may be more important than still doing stuff in the current round.

What’s nice is you have that Magic/Netrunner construction element building your thirty card deck. Ok we didn’t get to do that because we were playing with starter sets. But you also have the dice element giving you that Dicemasters feel. For me this is a better Dicemasters. Which is a game I really enjoyed.

The two starters are great to play against each other. Why they only give you one Finn die I don’t know. His character can have two. Just having that bit more flexibility in the starters would have been good.

But still this game for me lives up to the hype. I’m hoping once supply issues have been solved this will be a regular thing between Dale and me.

Classes finish at 4pm. I packed my games I had at work that I thought I’d need over the Easter holidays. And then loaded my car up with my games and my gaming table that I use at work.

My drive home is a different route than in the morning. It’s still across the Fenland landscape but using the main artery. It’s not as busy in the evenings as it is in the mornings.

When I hit my home town, the Capital of the Fens, I pull into Lidls to stock up on supplies for the nights gaming. For £14 I got a lot of stuff. 

At home I quickly changed. Got a selection of games together to take with me. Loaded up the car, and headed off into the night to play games.


Earlier in the day I had promised that I would donate ten pounds of the realm if Jonathan didn’t play yellow all night. A true trial for him, because yellow is his favourite colour, and he always plays yellow if available. 

Chris had also made a commitment to pay a £1 for each game he lost. Would we be able to gang up and deny Chris wins for charity?

We knew Diego wasn’t going to arrive until between 7:30 and 8pm. So the nights gaming started off with a game of Mint Works.

It was the perfect game to start with. Quick to play, quick to teach. And the perfect duration, because Diego turned up whilst we were playing. But didn’t have long to wait because our game was near the end. 

I think this was the first time in the games I’ve played so far that’s ended with a draw. Which meant Chris and I had to go to the tie breakers to determine a winner. The first tie breaker was for the smallest neighbourhood gets the win. We drew that also. Then it went to who had the most mints left. Bugger Chris won the tie breaker, and the game.

Chris wins: 1 loses: 0

With the win stolen from me on a technicality, the only thing to console me was the amazing cake that Diego had bought with him that he’d made.

Our first big game of the night was Jonathan’s game of the year for 2016, The Voyages of Marco Polo. I totally screwed up my tactics for this game. Which was why I came last. Nearly lapped on the points front by Chris. Even now I’m disgusted at myself for how bad I did. I didn’t even have the excuse of being tired! But still another victory for Chris, another pound lost.

Chris wins: 2 loses: 0


Our second big game of the night was Great Western Trail. I got my tactics spot on in this game. I bought only two additional cows. Instead I went for station bonuses, using certificates to boost my money at the market, and maxed out on the engineer and the railroad guy, and building buildings. For me Great Western Trail played much better as a four player game than a two. Oh I won this one. Making up for my poor effort in Marco Polo. 

Chris wins: 2 loses: 1


Great Western had taken us from about half ten to gone one in the morning. We were going strong. Not a sleepy head insight! 

Saloon Tycoon was next to the table. Once again I under performed and came in a miserable last. I could possibly use the excuse I was tired to explain it away. Or I was still in shock I’d won Great Western Trail. But it was during our play of Saloon Tycoon that Diego gave us our comedic moment of the night when (and I paraphrase here) he said “feck off”. It appeared to be aimed at Chris who had just taken a card or character from him, but in reality it was Diego swearing at a poor card draw (iirc). But it was hilarious and the source of much merriment at his expense.

Chris wins: 3 loses: 1

We decided to switch it down a gear during the early hours of the night by playing Imhotep. Tactically I was awful once more. This game night seems to have a running theme of me screwing up my tactics. But at least this time Diego took the honours, denying Chris a victory.

Chris wins: 3 loses: 2

You know what’s a good idea at gone three in the morning? Having Chris teach everyone else a new game. That game being  Mission: Red Planet. I’d like to play this when I’m less tired before saying much about it. I have a thought or two on it. But I’d like to make an opinion not clouded by lack of sleep.  But the winning machine of the night Chris walked away with the win.

Chris wins: 4 loses: 2


Our final game of the night was The Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I did very well on this, surprisingly well considering. And only just lost to you guessed it Chris. 

Chris wins: 5 loses: 2

So our 7pm to 7am gaming session for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day ended. No one had any sleep. No bad tempers due to lack of sleep. Everyone had a great time playing some awesome games (none of that Hasbro stuff). We raised some money for a good cause. And I got some of Diego’s cake to take home.

There is only one way to wrap up such a trial of human endurance. Yep Jonathan and I headed off to the local Wetherspoons for their generic signature fried breakfast. Not shown the side order of black pudding I ordered.


After stuffing our faces we headed off to our respective homes.

Once home and reunited with the Wolfpack I ended my sleep deprivation trial of 28.5 hours by falling asleep (a three hour nap).

I know these posts are only worth reading so that you can get to the pictures of me at the end. So I’m not going to disappoint. Thanks Jonathan for taking them.

At time of writing we raised £130 plus the gift aid on top of that for the NSPCC Big Board Game Day.