Council of Nations

Wow no posts for 3 days, you all must have been hoping I’d given up blogging. Sadly I haven’t. I was truth be told just being lazy.

Friday evening saw Jonathan and myself meeting up at The White Lion Hotel to play some games.

Our first game was a recent addition to Jonathan’s collection Council of Four . This was a foreign version of the game, which meant two things. Jonathan had gone online and printed out the translated English rules (in colour), and that he got it a lot cheaper than the English version over hear. I think Jonathan said around the 8 or 9 euros mark, compared to (I want to say) over £20. So a massive saving. And the game is language independent. Which means it really doesn’t matter if you get the non-English language version.

I think my main issues with this game are production issues. The assistant tokens for instance (see close up below) look awful. The art work could be much bigger, and less white space. I also had an issue with the black permit cards. They look more brown. Especially when they actually have a black border, that is black! Not only that the black meeples were also not very black. The graphic design could have done with a little bit of tweaking on the use of the arrow symbol. The same arrow icon was used in several spots for different things. Ideally there should have been a different symbol or type of arrow used to symbolise it’s different meaning.

The actual game itself isn’t bad. It was fun, I liked that you can combo emporiums, which can be very powerful. Build an emporium in a city next to one you already have an emporium in you get that connected cities bonus too, and repeat until you come to the end of your chain of connected cities. I had a very effective “engine” going that gave me money, points, and cards every time I built a connecting emporium.

I won our game. It was close. I had that combo engine going, while Jonathan was being more targeted in where he was building his emporiums and collecting bonuses for building in cities of the same colour. It did look like I was running away with the game. But after taking into account bonuses earned during the game, and the odd end game bonus, the game result was much closer than both of us were expecting.

And that is one other thing I like about this game, that we both had different plans in place for scoring, and I can see the possibility of one or more other ways to. And that’s a nice thing to have.

I’d play this again. Would I ask to play it again? Maybe not. It’s a good game, just not a great game.

Our second and final game of the evening was an old favourite, Nations the Dice Game. This game soon went out of print after it came out a couple years back. I had bought mine just after I think it was my first UKGE, after hearing the buzz about it at the expo. When I heard that Stronghold Games had picked up the rights to the game, and not only were they reprinting the game, they were also going to be publishing an expansion for it, I was excited. At the time of the news breaking I did ask Stronghold via social media if the expansion would be compatible with the original printing, and was assured that it was.

Which brings us to Friday night. I had the new expansion Unrest and the perfect excuse to get the base game back to the table.

This expansion adds a new die to the game, that makes rolling for resources a bit riskier, but has a bigger pay off. There is also a new reroll token, new nation boards, bonus tiles, pass bonuses, and more progress tiles.

The new nation boards actually fix an issue I had with the original game. In the original game it made no difference which nation you chose because they were all basically the same. Everyone got the same starting dice and tokens. Now with the new boards it matters which one you chose, and also which side. You get that feeling of uniqueness.

Ok the game is still over really quickly. But the added bonus tile that gives you a second thing to aim for other than just the famine and war bonus, is a nice addition. Plus passing now also gives you a little something, unless you are the last to pass.

I like this expansion, I don’t think I’d play the game without it. Even with new players. It adds stuff to the game, but not that much. Fixes a couple of problems. Yep glad I bought this expansion.

You know how this will end. A big thank you to The White Lion for allowing us to play there Friday evening.

Saturday was the final day of our Ixalan league. Unstable and life meant this last MtG meet up before Christmas was attended by five of us. I played 6 games, two best of three, and came away with a 1-5 record overall. These weren’t quick wins. They went to the long game. Which for 5 of the games saw my deck bettered. After I handed out the three prize packs for most wins, most plays, and most friendly player, and some packs were bought off me, I was left with 3 packs. I consoled myself with those 3 packs and was rewarded with the following card:
This is my third Huatli, Warrior Poet planeswalker. So nearly a play set. But is it good enough to break into my R/G Dino deck? I do like that ability to generate 3/3 dino tokens. Maybe in the sideboard?

Yep another thank you to Fenrock for hosting our MtG league.

Our next planned league will be at the end of January once Rivals for Ixalan has come out. But there will be one or two one off events before then. Keep an eye on the events page for Fenland Gamers to find out when they are announced.

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