Category Archives: game night

game night

We survived!

Saturday evening Justin,Liz,Dave and myself attempted to survive the harsh cold zombie apocalypse as depicted in The Dead of Winter.

Earlier in the day I finally punched out the tokens etc for the expansion/stand alone game The Dead of Winter: The Long Night, and integrated in some of the modules to the core game. Considering that Dave and Liz were both new to the Dead of Winter universe, I thought it best not to use the Raxxon and Bandits modules. I didn’t think that the improvements module or the other additions added so much that it would make it overwhelming to a new player.

I did like that the Long Night added thick cardboard versions of the locations. I much prefer this compared to thin cardboard almost paper like ones in the core game.

The location decks were generated the suggested random way when combining the new cards into the core game of shuffling the cards for each location and dealing twenty out to make the location deck.

The main objective we selected for the game was the above one from the Long Night. You don’t think about it at the time of selecting, but when you start to put the zombies out on the board, 18 zombies basically means every space outside the colony is full. Adding or moving anyone to the colony would mean that unless you have also killed some zombies at the colony they would be over run and survivors would die. Not having anyone at the colony did have the benefit that we would not have to find food for them.

So with more characters, more crossroads cards, more crisis’s, just more of everything, I think that the variety added is massive.

Starting out, outside of the colony was weird. But it allowed us to search for items early without first having to move to the location and roll for exposure. But we couldn’t sit tight forever. We would have to move into the colony at some point and start taking care of that zombie infestation.

We soon started to find survivors and having to find food for them, because they get added to the colony. Which in turn meant we had to start chipping away at the zombie horde at the doors.

Time was running out. 5 turns is not a lot of time. By turn three arrived we had not really achieved much. Ok averted a couple of crisis’s. But the population at the colony had crept up. If we could kill enough zombies, taking into account the number we would have to add at the end of the round before checking for the win condition, we would be able to win the game. We couldn’t fail the current crisis, that would add a further 9 zombies if we failed that. But we could afford to fail the feeding the colony. So we started killing zombies. First using abilities that didn’t require rolling for exposure. They are the best kills. Then some more risky ones that we passed the exposure rolls with flying colours.

We’d done it, we had met the main objective win condition. Although it turns out that there was no betrayer (although I think Liz’s suspicions that Justin was a traitor were justified based on a couple of actions/decisions he made during the game). Sadly no-one achieved their personal objective.

Next time I’ll add in the bandits module.


Remember my post about my students enthusiasm for Magic since being introduced to the game? They are even emailing me (at work) telling me about their new purchases.

After spending most of the day tucked up on the sofa sipping lemsip and having snoozes, fighting the symptoms of man flu, I dragged myself off my sickbed to play Guilds of London. Maybe we should have played Pandemic instead the way I was feeling.

Guilds of London was lasted played by Jonathan and myself in June 2016. Basically just after last years expo where we both bought the game (my copy was signed by the designer Tony Boydell, while Jonathan forgot to get his signed). Like Covert (and many others in our collections) Guilds of London has been kept away from the table by the cult of the new, and other great games. Which is a shame because this too is a really good game. It’s not a game for new players to the hobby, or those that like lighter games. Which is also a factor that kept it away from the table.

Naturally with with just two players we used the two player setup for the game. And after refreshing our faded memories about the rules, I took an early lead.

There was a major struggle for control for the Church of St Lawrence Jewry. 4 points and four cards were at stake. After three attempts to resolve it, we were still tied. The fourth time it went to Jonathan. But not long afterwards realised that the third tie I should have claimed it because I had a guildmaster adjacent to the tile.

It was not until the final three rounds that Jonathan caught up score wise and over took me to get the win.

Guilds of London is still a great game, with still its main problem being decoding the meaning of the cards. It should have had four player aids instead of just the two. 

After the game Jonathan and I chatted, but I wasn’t feel too good. Playing the game had taken it out of me. I was getting hot, and the effects of the lemsip were wearing off. 

A great evening gaming, but it nearly killed me!

Fenland Gamers Monthly Meetup October 2017

These monthly meetups come around fast. This month Jonathan, Debbie, Katie and myself met up at The White Lion to play some games.

Before hand I had looked at my collection and was once more indecisive about what to take along. I think the only game I was positive about taking along was Red7. It didn’t help my indecisiveness that I wasn’t really sure if Debbie was coming along or not. She had asked where the meetup was taking place, but hadn’t really said “yes I’m coming”, or if her partner was coming along also.

I thought I would take along Lunarchitects. But could I find it? Sad thing was it was in a place I had dismissed it from being because I thought it was another game!

Jonathan was already at The White Lion when I got there, and Katie arrived seconds after I did. I bought out Red7 as a quick game we could play while waiting for others to show up. While teaching Katie how to play, Debbie arrived. So we dealt her in, and went over the rules again with her. After a couple of games of the basic game (which I won), we stepped it up to the advanced rules. Which Katie went on to win. I do like the fact that you have these two modes of play, plus optional rules you can mix in. So you can quickly teach the game using the basic rules, or just use the basic rules if you have a five minute gap to fill. Then you can kick in the advanced rules, or if you are experienced players just jump straight in with the advanced rules. That’s some nice flexibility.

We followed Red7 up with Sagrada. Which was new to both Debbie and Katie. So Jonathan and I taught them the art of making a stained glass window with dice!

Jonathan and I both mucked up and couldn’t complete our windows, and we both used up our tokens on the available tools. Whilst Katie and Debbie both completed their windows, and had tokens left over. If you are picking up that Debbie and Katie owned Jonathan and myself at this game, then you are right, they did. In fact they drew on the score, so it had to go to the tie breakers. Which gave Katie the win.

Another great evening of gaming.

Winning the arms race

Somehow Jonathan, Edmund, and myself managed to fight our way through the trials and tribulations of life to get to the White Lion last night to play games.

One of the hardest things to do for a game night is deciding before hand what to take along to possibly play. Too many games competing for attention. Thanks to the “I’m going” option of the Facebook event for the evening it helps narrow the options down. But it’s still a hard decision. You have to cater for those going (taking into account their likes and dislikes) and potentially for anyone else that turns up.

In the end, after minutes of indecisiveness, I grabbed Tiny Epic Quest, The Manhattan Project, Love Letter: Batman and Red 7.

Our first game of the evening was the classic worker placement game The Manhattan Project. 

When I recorded that we were playing the game in the boardgame stats app it showed as a first play! So it has been around two years since Jonathan and I last played the game. That’s so shameful. A great game like The Manhattan Project deserves to be played more regularly. But with so many games between us, and new stuff coming in, it’s so hard to get everything to the table.

With there being such a long gap since our long play we were having to refresh our memories of the rules, whilst explaining the rules to Edmund. 

I have the expansion for the game, which is modula (you only play with the bits you want to). The bit we have played with is the Nations module, which are some cards that make each player unique, giving them an ability that only they can use. I combine the expansion Nation cards with the cards from the Nations mini expansion.

Jonathan had forgotten about testing bombs, which he remembered after I tested mine. But at that point it was too late he’d screwed his game plan up. I was the first to test a bomb, therefore picking up 8 whole points. There was some pressure from Edmund but I’d got a good engine going on my player board that meant I was mostly just doing actions on my board and not the main one.

I managed to grab the win. But Edmund and I had ran way ahead on the points front. 

We really are blessed with some great worker placement games in our collections. It’d be fair to say we enjoy that mechanic. We must try harder getting them to the table. But it won’t be easy.

Our second and final game of the evening was a learning game of Red 7.

I’d picked this up at the Expo. Since it’s release a couple of years ago now it’s had really good buzz. 

Having now played the game I can see why. At first it seems so simple. 49 cards, split between 7 colours each numbered between 1 to 7. Each colour is associated with a rule, for example for Red the rule is highest value wins. Each player starts with a hand of 7 cards, and a face up card in front of them called their pallete. On your turn you can play a card to your pallete, to the canvas (like a discard pile) to change the rule. Or do both. The only condition is you have to be winning at the end of your turn or you are out.

This is a real thinker. It’s great fun playing it in the basic mode, or the advanced. Basic mode is a single round game. Advanced is first to a point total based on number of players. With 3 players it was 35 points. The advanced mode sees cards being removed and kept to one side to track points. The winner of a round scores the cards that meets the winning criteria. They go under that players player reference. So removed from the game. Which adds another level of strategy you have to consider. Plus it’s possible to draw cards in the advanced mode. It’s so much fun in advanced mode. It gets even more thinky! 

Plus we didn’t use the optional rule that brings into play the icons on the odd numbered cards!

Oh Edmund rocked this game and won the basic game and the advanced one.

This was a fun game. Lived up to the hype. Will definitely be hitting the table again.

A great evening gaming again, with great people. Cliched I know. But it’s true.

Same time next week?

Spies, Pirates and Dinosaurs

It’s Ixalan Release weekend! You may have detected I’ve been getting more into MtG lately. So Ixalan despite me still calling myself a casual player (which I am) is the first release to come out during this increased interest. 

Yesterday I popped into my FLGS The Hobbit Hole on my way home to pick up my pre-order of a booster box. Which I only did so I got the Buy A Box promo booster pack! God WotC are evil geniuses. 

I ended up walking out with the following product:

  • Ixalan Booster box
  • Ixalan bundle box
  • Ixalan prerelease box
  • Huatli Planeswalker deck
  • Gishath, Sun’s Avatar Legendary Creature

The “freebies” I got were:

  • The Buy A Box promo pack
  • Foil promo alt art Burning Sun’s Avatar
  • Ixalan MtG League deck box

I haven’t planned to attended any release weekend events this weekend. But like my FLGS your LGS will be running lots of events giving you the chance to buy packs and play with the new cards you just got.

Naturally there will be posts over the weekend where I share my pulls with you. You have been warned.

Last night Jeff, Jonathan and myself met up at the Fenland Gamers weekly Friday Meet Up at The White Lion to play some games!

The game that hit the table last night was Covert. This was the second time the game had hit the table since I got it. Which is a shame. It’s a nice game. But when you have a game collection it’s competing against so many others. It’s not only the games in my collection, it’s competing against those in members collections too. And not to mention the cult of the new. So it’s hard sometimes for an enjoyable game to get back to the table.

But I’m glad that I did make that decision to take Covert along to be played. Once we had refreshed our memories on how to play the game (10 months had passed since our initial play) and muddled through teaching Jeff, we got on with the job of being Spies working our craft across Europe.

With Jonathan triggering the end of the game by completing the required six missions, and getting the win, we all agreed it was an enjoyable game. 

Who knows when it will manage to fight its way back to the table through the cardboard and plastic crowds. But at that moment as we were packing away I made that hard to keep promise of “I must get this back to the table soon”.

Another great evening of gaming and friendship. 

Planeswalker Apprentice or is it Padawan?

Last night I was round Edmund’s teaching him how to play MtG and Star Wars:Destiny.

After recreating the Rey and Kylo starter sets using a deck list for each I pulled off the internet, Edmund and I played eRey/eFinn vs eKylo/First Order Trooper.

Yes you read that correctly eFinn. I know in the starter set he is just a single die. But there are enough points for him to be played as an elite version.

Did this make the combo too powerful? Potentially, in our two games that character combo with it’s extra dice advantage won the roll off to decide which battlefield is chosen. Edmund and I took turns playing the character combos. I started off with eRey/eFinn, and won the game. But for a first game, unfamiliar with cards, rules etc, Edmund had picked up the game quickly, and played well. When Edmund played the eRey/eFinn combo he won. That was a closer game, both down to our last four cards in hand. Edmund only had Rey left with four damage on, while I only had the First Order Trooper left with five damage on. I wasn’t going to win that match up. I thought that this did make it a more even game for a new player to go up against an experienced player.

Mind you I might tweek the eKylo/First Order Trooper deck by adding in a second Trooper to balance it out a bit more. There is certainly the points to allow it.

It was weird to be playing with just the starter cards again. There were cards I just wouldn’t or hardly use. To get Mind Probe out I’d be using Sith Holocron, and running more abilities in the deck. I’d even be using training to get more Trooper dice out. On the Hero side, Backup Muscle would be a must have. Yeah an interesting experience.

Sadly after our two games there was not really enough time to move Edmund on from being a Padawan to a Planeswalker Apprentice. But hopefully after giving Edmund his first hit of Destiny we have a new convert.

Back to basics

Last night at Fenrock, Justin,Chris, David, Liz and myself stepped back to an alternate 1920’s Europa, where mechs exist in my favourite game of all time, Scythe.

I was playing my favourite faction of the game, Rusviet. Tigers are cool. But cooler still is the Rusviet power of being able to abuse actions by continuously being able to repeat the same action over and over. Justin was Nordic, Chris was Crimea, David was Saxony and Liz played Polania.

For this gaming session we played with Justin’s copy of the game. Which was a brand new copy. So new in fact that he had not punched the tokens out, cards were still sealed. Yep not played. A virgin copy so to speak. If I had known when asked earlier by Justin whose copy we would use I would have said my pimped out copy. I don’t think until last night I had played a store copy of the game. All my plays have been with my Kickstarter, promo ladden, pimped out copy. This was going to be a weird experience!

David and Liz had not played Scythe before, and this was my first time meeting them also. So after setting up the game, I went through the rules, leaving out combat until we had some in the game. I also talked David and Liz through what they should be trying to do in their first couple of turns based on their factions and to enable them to get pass the river and start claiming territory for their faction.

David got the hang of taking a turn pretty quickly. While Liz took a little longer. But considering this was Liz’s first modern hobby game (probably) she picked up Scythe really quickly. You look at Scythe and think “OMG! this looks complicated”, and yes there is a lot of pieces to the game. Then you start explaining the game, and it seems so overwhelming. But once they start playing, and have taken a handful of turns, the simple action selection soon clicks.

Naturally I was the first to the factory. I think in all the games I played, this was the worst selection of factory cards to chose from. I didn’t really like any of them. But went for one that I paid two money, got to do an upgrade, and gained a popularity. Those cards were not really friendly to my factions ability. I wanted a card I could just sit on, abuse to pieces until it no longer was any use.

I gained my two combat victories early on. But that backed fired in the later half of the game when I was easy prey for Chris and Justin (who were either side of me) who were able to get revenge for my early aggression. Which basically kicked my back into my starting territories and a couple of crumbs tucked away in the corner of the board.

Some how David managed to not get much done, and only producing on one territory, which also had his commander and mechs on it. It was very very crowded.

The last third of the game Justin was claiming lots of territory. I felt it was my duty to point this out to the others, and try and get them to do what I didn’t have the resources to do, clip his wings and kick him out of some of his spots. Luckily David and Liz took the warning and attacked Justin.

I triggered the end game by getting out all my workers. I had no idea who was going to win. I was sure it wouldn’t be me. After the finally scoring, it seemed Chris and Liz may have tied. But after a double recount, Liz had won by a single point. Justin was third, and he might have got first if David and Liz hadn’t had heeded my warning. David and I were far far behind the others on the scoring.

Justin, the first thing you need to do with your copy of Scythe… get the metal coins.

But a fun evening playing my favourite game with some pretty cool people. Hope they invite me again.

Edmunds Delivery Service 

Last night an assassin managed to stop Jonathan and Chris attending the weekly Friday evening meet up. Luckily Edmund and I have far superior ninja skills and managed to dodge the assassins attempts on us.

Our first game of the evening was a game I’ve been wanting to get to the table since I purchased it. That game is Broom Service. A game I’ve referred to as Kiki’s Delivery Service the boardgame! 

Seeing as this was our first play and we were learning from the rule book, we played the basic game.

This was despite my loss a nice game.

The pick up and deliver aspect with the correct coloured potions having to go to correct coloured castles. Added to the fact some of the castles once delivered to are blocked for the duration of the game, is fun.  The delivering and blocking a castle does add a kind of take that, foil your opponents plans element to the game.

I really liked the action selection process. Each player has ten cards to choose four from. Those four cards will be the possible actions you take that round. Each card has a brave action and a cowardly action. Then the starting player selects one of their four cards and plays it. When they play the card they select which of the two actions on the card they are going to do. If it was the cowardly one they donthe action immediately. If it was the brace action they may not get to do it. They have to wait and see. Now one player order the other players also have to play the same card if they selected it in their four cards. When they play the card they two have to decide which action to do. If it’s the brave action the previous player who selected brave gets to do nothing that turn. It’s only the last player to play that card and selected the brave action that gets to do it. All the others that played it and selected brace get to do nothing. So you have a push your luck element here. Plus this whole selecting cards trying to choose cards that have actions you want to do, but also having to work out which actions other players maybe selecting. Add in a dummie hand for lower player counts adds even more things to consider. Play an action that matches one of the dummie actions and you lose 3 points. And these change each round. Yeah I like this mechanic a lot.

I also like round cards that add some new condition/rule to that round. These can have positive and negative consequences. Plus these are a great way to track the seven rounds.

The art is a lovely cartoon like style. Lovely counters for the potions and witches. It’s an attractive game. 

Luckily for me Edmund didn’t lap me on the score track, that would be embarrassing. He only nearly doubled my score. 

Our final game saw us slowing the place down, going back to art school in Kanagawa. I’m not going to say much about this. I’ve spoken about it the past. It’s a beautiful looking game, with some lovely mechanics and decisions. Sadly I lost to Edmund again. 

A great evening gaming with a really great guy. 

September ’17 Monthly Meet Up

It was the second Wednesday of the month last night which means it can only be one thing for Fenland Gamers, yep the monthly meet up.

Our first game of the evening after our little chatter about stuff was a recent arrival in Gavin’s collection that he got in a trade, but a long time favourite, Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG).

It felt a little weird playing the game without the awesome playmat for the game. But then this was Gavin’s copy not mine. It’s funny really because I nearly threw this plus the expansion, and Tiny Epic Quest into my bag for the evening.

Four player TEG is probably the sweet spot for this game. Five players we found in the past was too many. But then again this was more of a “gamer” group playing this time, unlike the time we played with five, which was mainly casual gamers.

After losing a battle with Diego for a seven point planet, there was no stopping him and his push to victory. By the time it was his turn again, he was able to complete a second seven pointer and trigger the end game. That meant Jonathan and Gavin had one more go to bolster their points, and hopefully steal the victory from Diego. In reality the only one with a shot of doing that was Gavin. Jonathan was way to far behind to do that. Gavin gave it a good shot. He was able to orbit and colonise a five point planet on his and Jonathan’s turns. Pretty impressive. But sadly not good enough to stop Diego claiming the victory. The important thing here is that I was not last. That honour fell to Jonathan.

Our second and final game of the evening was Dice Town. This is a really nice game. I played it aggressively to start with. I was helped by some great early rolls. So by aggressive I mean paying to keep more than the one dice, thus cutting down on the chances others had on building good poker hands, or getting useful dice. I think on the second round I rolled a full house. Four dollars thrown in. The others get one more roll and have to live with it. It was fun to play like this, but back fired when I had no cash, and was denied for several rounds from getting any. Which limits this more aggressive approach big time.

I had an early advantage for sure. But that soon eroded away, and unnoticed by the others Diego seemed to be amassing a lot of cards and possibly victory points. By the end we were all positive that Diego had won. The biggest shock really was that it was by a smaller margin than we thought it would be. The important thing for Jonathan was that I was last.

Dice Town is really nice, it’s just a shame that the expansions for it are so hard to get hold of.

This was once more another great evening of gaming with some great folks.

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.