Category Archives: game night

game night

Dueling decks

Americans do like their special shopping days like Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Now for the second year running Disney give the world Force Friday. A day when all the new Star Wars related toys and merchandise are released to the world.

A couple of days before Force Friday hit I did see a rumour that FFG would be announcing a mystery Star Wars related game. Which the poster of the rumour said would be Star Wars: Destiny duel decks.

Come Friday morning or Force Friday morning if you will, FFG announce what is basically a box with two starter sets in it. There is a mix of new cards exclusive to this two-player set and existing cards from the two current Destiny sets.

Like the first two starter sets the decks are only 20 cards each. Plus two characters and a battlefield for each deck. Once again great for learning with, but not tournament legal. So a new player couldn’t buy this, pick the deck they wanted to play, and started playing in a store game night. Unlike the original starter sets, because there are two decks here, it might be possible to take some cards from the other deck to make a match legal deck. I’ve not seen the full card list yet.

From what I’ve seen for existing players of Destiny to get a play set (2 of each card and dice) you will need to buy two copies of the two-player set. Why? Because there is only one copy of each card and die. Which puts the cost for players that way inclined at $60 instead of a casual players $30 for one copy of the two-player game.

Still there are some interesting new cards in this new release. Enough to justify laying out $60? Now that’s a big question.

You can read the full announcement HERE.

Last night while Jonathan is off playing boardgames in a field somewhere up North, and living under canvas for the weekend, Chris and I met up to play games at the usual Friday night spot.

So I introduced Chris to The 7th Continent. Our first game ended pretty quickly. We were playing once again the suggested curse for a first play. However we’d only explored our second map tile when we met our untimely demise having failed to out swim a shark!

Once we recovered from the shock of our sudden death we reset the game and started again. We did better than our first game. But we have hit a brick wall on progressing any further. Luckily it happened at an appropriate point in time that we were going to have to stop playing anyway. I think it’s a good sign that Chris suggested we used the games save feature to save where we were. So next time we play we can pick up exactly where we left off. In fact with the way the game has been designed other players can join in the fun whenever they want. It’s nice that the designers have thought of this sort of thing.

Ok thanks it for this post. I’ll be back tomorrow with news of who sits on the Iron Throne.

He’s back (the man behind the mask)

Come back later (this evening later, about to go off and play Memoir 44 Overlord) to read this post when I will have added some words about last nights game of Mansions of Madness Second Edition

In the meantime here is the collage of us playing the game as a teaser, and an embedded video of the classic Alice Cooper song I’ve used for this posts title.


Welcome back. I’ve had a great playing Memoir 44, but you can read about that tomorrow. What you really want to know about now is last nights game of Mansions of Madness.

Long story short I liked it. I had a blast playing the game. Especially from how I won the game. More on that in a bit.

Naturally with the game being app driven, and only playable with the app, the likely hood of it being added to my collection is very slim. However the game plays really well with the app. I’d go as far to say it’s a better experience than playing Descent with its app.

We certainly had our talk about moment. Early in the game I found a machete in a pile of gardening junk. At the the time I joked how I was a fan of the Friday the Thirteenth films and Jason. Two or three turns later in the power cut that hit the mansion I found a gun. I was happy with my character and his ability to fend off any monsters. I even had a couple of spells. 

The mission we played was more like a who done it, or mini cluedo. We were not fighting any monsters. It was more investigating, looking for clues/evidence. After our “employer” had been murdered we had to find his killer. Thanks to my “oh she is guilty” and wrongly accusing some-one we angered the ghost of the dead person. Which after he attacked myself and Charlie’s characters left us both insane. Which gave us both secret objectives to do. Mine was to be with one other investigator at the start of my turn with a bladed weapon to win, and everyone else would lose. I thought I’d got it. Next round I go first, I win. But Charlie beat me to it, he ran away from the ghost and me! Luckily with the help of the others Edmund was persuaded to join me in the same space on his turn. Then all attention was on me for my turn. I revealed my card. Surprise I win!!! There was some disbelief around the table about what had just happened. I had won a co-op game!!!

I’d definitely play the game again. 

Curses

It was release day on Netflix for the latest instalment of the MCU, The Defenders.

I’m on holiday, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe, and the Netflix handling of the characters they have been given. Naturally a large chunk of my Friday was given over to binge watching the eight episodes that make up season one of The Defenders.

On Thursday I had already laid the ground for an undisturbed viewing by issuing a decree/warning that if Mum came round and interrupted my watching if the series she would be put “to the pain”.

The Defenders was only eight episodes, easily binged in a day. 

***SPOILER ALERT*** 

I loved it. Apparently some online are complaining it takes them to long to meet up. But I liked the pacing, and the time spent catching up with where the heroes were in their respective lives, and moving them towards that moment they start working together.

Ok the ending although emotional, lost a bit of the “did he survive?”, and then the reveal, because I knew there was a third season for the character (which has been teased months ago on Netflix).

I liked the interaction between the characters. Jessica Jones and her trolling of the others with her quips is fun. Signourney Weaver is great as the main big bad. 

I look forward to seeing the fallout and new big bads in the next respective series of the characters. Plus I’d like to think we will get a second series of The Defenders.

In the evening Jonathan and I met up for FEG@WL. 

First to the table was my newly arrived Kickstarter backed copy of The 7th Continent

Jonathan and I started our “learning” adventure within the 7th Continent by trying to remove “The Voracious Goddess” curse (as recommended by the rule book). We were adventuring using the “normal” mode! But because I had mixed in all the expansions, it meant we could see devourers (from the Fear the Devourers expansion) and extreme weather conditions  (from the Facing the Elements expansion). The other expansions were curses so unless we selected them to remove we shouldn’t see them.

Jonathan and I both back in our younger days played/read the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books. Jonathan I think is a much bigger fan than me. But we both have fond memories of them. I’m not going to waste time explaining what these books are, if you don’t know, then click this LINK to find out.

At a basic level The 7th Continent is these choose your own adventure books as a tabletop game. Unlike the books which are a solo experience, The 7th Continent plays solo or upto four players. The difficulty of the game can be changed, it’s possible to save a game, you can add in stuff like weather and the devourers to add more variety. Plus playing the same curse will not be exactly the same each time. Oh and players can drift in and out of solving a curse. Which is fantastic for a group playing the game. A member goes on holiday, you remove their character and their skill cards (there is a couple of other things to do as well with their items and skills), when they return you add the character and their skills back in.

I liked this a lot. I loved the social side of working through the curse together, discussing actions and who takes them etc. Jonathan I think sees this as more a game he’ll play solo. Which is something I will do.  But I want that group, shared experience. So will try and get a group of hardy adventurers together.

The expandability of this game is nearly limitless. I think you’d be more likely to get bored with the system first.

In this “learning” game, we got one of the weather effects as an event. We came across a baby devourer. Which we killed, failed a test, and while fighting it’s much much bigger mother, ran out our action deck and drew a curse from the discard pile instantly losing. Before that Jonathan and I narrowly failed to swim across to the next terrain tile. I think there are many many more memorable moments like this ahead. 

You will be banishing cards from the game. So decisions will have an impact later on. It’s almost legacy like, but without the card destruction. Which means you can reset at any time. I like that the best of both worlds. 

The save game ability actually has to be used! The designer recommends game sessions should be between one to two hours. Saving will allow hunted animals to return/restock for example.

I keep wanting to compare this with Portal Games Robinson Crusoe. Which is a game I like. But I think this is a more elegant design that does similar things but without the complication, and I’d say more accessible. 

I’ve only scratched the surface of this game. There is a lot of depth here. Oh production quality is really high. I’d like the minis to have been a little bigger, but they are I guess the right size for the cards/tiles.

I think The 7th Continent could potentially be this years Gloomhaven! Although it doesn’t seem to getting as much buzz online at the moment. However there is enough demand that they are running another Kickstarter in September for those that missed this one that has just concluded. There will also be as part of that new Kickstarter some new expansions. So I’ll pick them up, along with a shed load of card sleeves.

Just get this when the next Kickstarter starts up. You won’t regret it. 

Jonathan taught me his latest game and Kickstarter backed game, Go nuts for Donuts. Which Jonathan likes more than Sushi Go. Jonathan described it to me as like Sushi Go, but without the drafting. Drafting isn’t one of Jonathan’s favourite mechanics. I did troll Jonathan at the end when discussing the game with that the designer like the designer of Barenpark took an existing game and removed the fun! But it’s not too far from the truth I suppose. I do like drafting. However the replacement mechanic of placing a number card to select the card you want isn’t a bad replacement. Drafting light?

Go nuts for Donuts is ok. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience. Two players isn’t the best showcase for the game I think. It definitely didn’t excite me like Sushi Go did when I first played it. But then my first plays of Sushi Go were as a four player game. Would I have felt the same if it had been just two players? Most likely not.

I would give this another shot with the higher player count. It’s definitely not been shown in its best light as a two player game. I love Love Letter, but like Go Nuts for Donuts it’s not a great two player game. So maybe after playing at a higher player count I’d be more positive about the game. 

After we finished playing we chewed the fat for a while, righting the wrongs of the gaming world. We then ended the evening the traditional way with “meat”, salad and chilli sauce.

UPDATE: kindly provide by Jonathan

Died in Winter – Again!

27 volumes of the Walking Dead graphic novels are sitting on my shelf. Which will be joined by a 28th in October. That’s a lot of zombies and people dying over the years.   And I have to be honest I nearly did stop reading the series until they did something that added a breathe of fresh air to the story. So it’s safe to say I’m a fan.

When it comes to the franchise appearing on the table I’ve only been tempted by the reskin of Bang! the Dice Game that was done. That was mainly because I thought it would appeal theme wise to my students. The other attempts at bringing it to the table haven’t grabbed me. I think mainly because other zombie games actually capture the feeling of the show much better.

For instance Zombicide captures nicely that feeling of your group of survivors fighting the zombie horde onslaught whilst trying to achieve some mission, like finding food. Then Dead of Winter also does a great job of capturing the feel of the show, especially with the traitor element. Whilst Zombicide is more about combat. Dead of Winter is more making sure your colony survives by scavenging for resources, and stopping crises happening. All the time not knowing if one of your group is trying to sabotage things. When the second expansion comes out later in the year you will have the colonies of both the Dead of Winter games competing against each other. Just like the colonies/factions warring in The Walking Dead.

Edmund, Justin, Jason and myself took on the bleak hopeless challenge of surviving the zombie apocalypse in Dead of Winter.

We’d started so well. First two rounds we had gained a morale, recruited a crap load of additional survivors. In fact out of the handful of times I’ve played the game, I can’t remember a game with such a great start. Definitely never had so many survivors. Every search seemed to throw up more survivors. I think we had over 10 extra ones!

Then the third round seemed to be going the same way. Disaster struck. Justin failed an exposure roll. A survivor got bitten. Justin had the lowest ranked character, so decided he would try and save his character. Sadly that roll failed. Two morale gone. Another character moved between locations, another bite. I tried saving two of my characters but they died from zombie bites. Within two player turns we had lost six survivors, the colony morale was devasted. Reeling from shock we failed to feed the colony, and failed the crisis. We were down to one morale.

Unsurprisingly we didn’t survive the next round. We weren’t able to complete the crisis and lost our final morale point.

We may have got decimated. Failed spectacularly. But we had a blast.

Looking forward to our next attempt at surviving the zombie apocalypse.

Micro Update 12/8/17

This is just a short and sweet post. “Thank god” I hear you say, after that big sigh of relief.

Thursday saw the “band of brothers” for want of a better name to call our band of happy go lucky adventurers, complete the first scenario/mission of the Descent app. 

We are still making the odd rule/play mistake but who cares? Learning as we go!

Naturally we spent our hard earned gold and experience in the nearby town. I got a better axe, and leather armour for my berserker dwarf. 

Then before going out separate ways selected to do a side quest, which will be saving some spiders! Found the tiles needed so we can jump straight in at the start of our next session.

Last night saw Edmund and myself playing Tiny Epic Quest. Seemed to get more done in the five rounds this time. I completed three quests, killed three goblins, got my legendary sword, and got to level 6 with my magic. But still I lost by two points to Edmund. So two plays and two loses. Yet I still love the game and had a great time.

Today we had the second league play event for our Amonkhet Magic the Gathering League. Which was once again well attended, and everyone had a good time. Even I did despite winning only two games out of the seven I played. I hope I do better at Destiny when Dale and I attend our first store event in September. 

Our next league play is the 9/9/17. But we are going to try and get a mid week game in before then.

Well I hope you enjoyed this short round up of my gaming over the last day or so. Normal long winded ramblings will resume in the next post I’m sure.

Monthly Meetup August 17

It was the time of month once again when those Fenland Gamers with nothing better to do, couldn’t think up a convincing excuse, or not imprisoned by their toaster partner, turned up to play games mid week.

6 is an odd number! Not many games play that many that don’t take an age to play. So we split into two groups for the evening.

Jeff and I played a learning game of my newest arrival, hot off the Kickstarter fulfilment wagon, Tiny Epic Quest. Whilst the other group played Five Tribes and Kingdomino.

I think most gamers (here I’m using the term to describe those that play video games) will have a fond memory or two of playing at least one of the Zelda games. Mine goes way back into the distance mists of time to the GameBoy, 1988/89 and The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening.

I loved the game. Since then I’ve played all the Nintendo hand held versions of Zelda. Plus some of the main console versions. I know Nath loves the games too. The latest Zelda offering on the Switch is one of the main reasons I want a Switch over the other current gen consoles.

But what has all this got to do with Tiny Epic Quest? 

Well for starters more than one owner of the game online has refered to it as Tiny Epic Zelda.

The art of the game although lovely and bright, definitely evokes the look of Zelda. Plus there is a game variant included called Gloomfall that flips over the map tiles to a darker looking art style. Mimicking the dark world of A Link To The Past. 

You complete quests that give you magical items to equip your heroes with. There is even a boomerang! 

When you are moving your heroes around the map it feels like you are wandering round an overworld map.

This sandbox style game, feels so much like a Zelda style boardgame. I think this is going to be the closest we get to one without the Zelda name attached to it. 

I love the ITEMeeples, and being able to attach the items you are able to earn through completing quests. Having legendary weapons that you get by completing temples, and “regular” items from quest cards. Is a great idea. The fact that players have to complete different temples in different order is a nice touch. And how awesome do the ITEMeeples look holding equipment?

When I was reading the rule book earlier in the day, I thought is this going to be one of those games that finishes too earlier? Where  you want the game to go on for one or two turns more so you can do everything you wanted to. After playing it. Yep it is. 5 turns is not enough. Jeff is right you could house rule a longer game. But I’d love to have seen something like Xia where you can decide how long a game you want to play. How you complete 10 quests or kill 10 goblins I don’t know in 5 turns to get maximum points on those tracks.

I love the push your luck element of the night phase. Rolling those dice on your turn. Hoping for the right sides. But it carries over to the rolls of the other players still adventuring. Being able to use the symbols that allow you to attack, or explore temples not only on your roll but on the other players rolls, love it. It’s the only way to complete temples or kill goblins. But it carries that risk you will take damage and get exhausted and lose all progress that turn.

There is a lot of replayability from the random map tile positioning, to the quests and which ones come out. Which dictates what items you can equip with. 

I like the taking turns selecting a movement action, with other players having the choice  of following it or idling and gaining a health or power back if they have a hero in a castle.

Like the other Tiny Epic games, the only tiny thing about the game is the box size. Once set up this takes up a large space on the table.

I think this might be my favourite Tiny Epic game pushing Tiny Epic Galaxies into second place. It played really well with two players. I’m keen to try it with the higher player counts. I think the night phase will be even more riskier, because it will be longer before you are able to rest. But you might be able to complete more also. I’m glad I ordered the playmat for this now (pictured below, and link HERE to get it). It looks amazing doesn’t it? Gamelyn really do a nice job on the playmat side for their games. 


Let’s finish off this post with a nice photo of me taken by Jonathan.

Lording it up

The nice thing about The Luxe cinema (apart from my spot, and the great customer service) is that if you have to sit in the front row as Nath and I had to yesterday (the front row seats were the only ones left when we booked our tickets), is the screen is not so large it’s overwhelming to watch the movie.

We had gone to see Mr Nolan’s latest cinematic offering Dunkirk. The nice thing about his movies is that he treats you like an intelligent person and doesn’t hire Sir Anthony ‘needs the money because he’s fallen on hard times so will do any old tripe’ Hopkins to do plot exposition.

Dunkirk for me is one of those movies that goes up against the classic ensemble war movies like The Longest Day or A Bridge Too Far. These types of movies don’t have any character back story, there is no real character development, you are getting snippets of a story from several points of view.

How does it compare with the classics? Very well I think. Obviously movie making techniques have advanced over the decades, from visual effects to story structure. The use of a modern structure works, especially seeing the same event from several points of view. 

Nath and I both enjoyed the movie.

Nath was going to join us for the weekly gaming session. However the theme (despite being virtually none existent) of Lords of Waterdeep didn’t really appeal to him. So Nath stayed at home to play Uncharted 2 on the PS3. 

Which meant Jeff, Chris and I were left to compete to be the Lord of Waterdeep. We were playing with the base game plus the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion. It was all in on the expansion front because we were using both the Undermountain expansion and the Skullport expansion with its corruption mechanic, that make up the complete expansion. 

I really should have picked the lord that gave me end points for buildings owned. Instead I went for the one that allowed me to chose the quest type I wanted to score, and then get 6 points for each completed quest. But at the time it was the right decision.

It’s just a shame I had lots of buildings under my control by the end of the game. It’s not something I do much of while playing Waterdeep. But a combo of two quests got me all the buildings not built for free, plus I got extra victory points for each building because of a previously completed quest. That was a massive round for me. 

Jeff was just collecting corruption as if it was going out of fashion. Chris had a system going that allowed him to discard corruption from his tavern.

After final scoring Chris won by a nose, beating Jeff into second place. While I was not far behind in last place.

We had a blast playing Lords of Waterdeep with the expansion. In fact Jeff wasn’t a fan of just the base game, but with the expansion he quite liked it. That’s a massive win. 

All in for the Sultan

It was the end of the working week. I’d done diddly squat with my week off. Apart from take my recovering mother shopping that is. Chaos Cards had got the replacement copy of the new Five Tribes expansion Whims of the Sultan to me real quick. A lot quicker than I was expecting. Which was cool, because it meant we were able to use it for that evenings planned game of Five Tribes with that expansion. We did have a backup plan, that involved using Jonathan’s copy that had arrived the previous day.

Edmund helped me set up. With all the expansions being used (The Artisans of Naqala, Thieves of Naqala,  Whims of the Sultan, Wilwit promo, and Dhenim promo, side note there is a third promo that I don’t have because it was only part of a couple of crowdfunding campaigns for a couple of gaming channels earlier this year) we were now looking at a massive 7 by 6 grid of tiles. 

Whims of the Sultan adds the pieces for a fifth player. A new auction board, and turn order board for use with 5 players. 6 new tiles, 2 new djinns, a whims deck, and some meeples. 

With the reference cards from the core game, and the expansions that’s a lot of cardboard in front of each player. It’s a shame Artisans only has four reference cards.

We played fully loaded, both expansion wise and player wise. Considering that fact our game took approximately 1:45. That’s pretty good really. 

This was the first time I’d played with Thieves in the mix. And needlessly to say the first time with Whims. Like Istanbul Five Tribes is a game that the expansions add to them in a good way. And at the moment both are on the right side of not being a step too far. 

In Whims controlling the “fabulous” city tiles gives you a nice bonus at the end scoring depending on how many you control. Control all 5 that’s 125 points! I managed three for 45 points.

Thieves gives you a Thieves deck that you can buy from instead of the djinn row. The thief can be used and then discarded after use, or if unused at the end counts as points like a djinn.

The lake tile from Whims has players vying for control of the adjacent tiles, especially those with palms or palaces on because it doubles their value. 

I liked playing with the expansions, they add some great alternate ways to amass points. But they haven’t added too much complexity to the game. If anything that’s mostly in the set up. I was concerned about the fifth player. But it worked ok with the extra player. Usually expansions that add an extra player are detrimental to the game. But this didn’t feel like that.

I can just about fit everything into the core box and the Whims box. A custom insert might take that down to just the core box. 

“Epic” Five Tribes or “Fully Loaded” is a fun experience. Not sure I’ll be playing the core game much, it’s going to be “all in” every time (unless playing with a noob). 

We had a laugh or two playing. Chris’s friend Chris won. Another great Friday evening gaming.

Fenland Gamers Heavy Board Game Challenge: Scythe Game 1

It’s been an emotional 24 hours or so. The news of the death of the lead singer of Linkin Park stirred up some things. I wish I could talk more openly about it (I have to consider how it impacts stuff in the real world like work, and family), but because of the nature of his death, my experiences over the years, it had more of an impact than I’d have thought. So a night of gaming was something to look forward to and more than a welcome distraction from those demons. 

Last night instead of the regular FEG@WL we had the first of a series of game sessions that were focusing on a gaming challenge that Chris had came up with.

About a month ago (it may be a little longer, but who really cares when exactly it was? It’s not a court of law) Chris came up with the idea of trying to get some of our more complicated, bigger games to the table more often so we could really explore them. You know get a feel for different tactics etc. Something we rarely got to do. Not because we didn’t want to, but with us owning so many games, and new purchases, we just weren’t getting the chance to. So on our Facebook group Chris ran a survey to first get a list of “big” games members had in their collection they wanted to have considered for the proposed 5×10 Heavy Board Game Challenge. That list was then voted on and the top five chosen. 

Chris chose Scythe from that list as the first one to get to the table. A good selection. Mind you I would say that considering it’s my number 1 game.

We were playing with my copy of the game which apart from the “realistic” resources (which I don’t like the look of) I have everything (oh and I don’t have the Secret Cabal promo). Which means with the Invaders from Afar expansion we have a good variety of factions to choose from. But more importantly metal coins. 

I think this was the first time I’d played a five player game. Definitely the first time playing Polania. Chris was playing Rusviet (which I haven’t won playing with, is still my favourite because of its ability and cool tiger). Jonathan was Albion, Edmund played Togawa Shogunate, and first time visitor and friend of Chris, Chris (hence known as new Chris) played Saxony. 

Naturally Chris got to the factory first and camped there with his hero and a mech. It’s hard not to get there first with his faction. I managed to beat him in combat to gain control of the factory to get a factory card. But lost it on Chris’s next turn as he jumped straight back in and won control back. I think we were the only two to actually go to the factory all game.

There was a little miss understanding over the end game scoring tile. I’d miss read it as buildings adjacent to tunnels when it was in fact buildings on tunnels. Which would have changed where I’d built. So we all agreed to change that tile to adjacent. Which was very kind of everyone to agree to that. I wasn’t the only one who had made that mistake. But still. Plus it made very little impact to the end results.

Your faction power breaks one of the games  fundamental rules. On my favourite Rusviet that’s being able to repeat the same action after having just taken it. For Polania it was being able to chose two options from the encounter cards. Something I only did twice, I really should have been making more use of this ability and grabbing more encounter tokens. 

Was I distracted by having 2 desserts (don’t judge me!) while playing? Nope. They were my consolation prizes. That’s the excuse I’m using and sticking with. 

I could see from the board state I wasn’t going to be in the running for top spot. I wasn’t controlling nearly enough territory, nor had I completed enough objectives ( a sad 2).

I’d been creeping up the popularity track, while the others were stuck in the first points area on it, I was close to getting into the third and maximum points when scoring. But I didn’t have the territory control to make maximum use of that fact.

When new Chris triggered the end of the game I was still a good couple of turns from being in a competitive position for scoring. But as the dust settled, and we counted up our coins Edmund emerged victorious by a point. Well done Edmund on beating Chris by the slenderest of margins. I unsurprisingly came last.

A great game. A blast to play even at 5 player. I wouldn’t want to play with more than that. A great evening, with amazing people. I’m looking forward to our next play.