Men and Women of UNCLE

Can you guess what last night was?

Yep it was FEG@WL or the long winded version Friday Evening Gaming At The White Lion! Our weekly gaming meet up at the Fenland Gamers.

Our gaming session now clashes with Steak night at The White Lion. So sadly that lovely big table we played on is now unavailable. But as usual The White Lion has generously allowed us to use their function room.


I think you will agree there is a little room for growth in numbers. 

We are very grateful to The White Lion for allowing us to use the facilities they have for free. It allows us to continue to run the weekly session as free to attend events. Which is part of the clubs DNA. Both Jonathan and I both really believe that you shouldn’t have to pay to play games, “free at the point of play” as Jonathan likes to say (I think that’s his words more or less). It’s an expensive enough hobby as it is buying the games.

There are other reasons as to why we don’t like to charge but you don’t want to waste valuable time hearing a diatribe from me on gaming clubs.

Our hosts provide us with great facilities, great beverages, it has free parking, and now great food if we want it.

Oh yes I had to sample the bannoffee pie they had on the menu. It was really good. The rest of the menu looked very tempting too, Debbie the manager showed us photos of the dishes. The only draw back is I’d just want like the ribs, plus the special plater and the wings. I’d be in a meat coma in no time! 

But word of warning to club members we will be arranging some sort of food thing after a session real soon. 

Right on to the real reason you are here… your bored with life, have nothing better to do and want to read my poorly put together thoughts on games.

We played one game last night and that was a learning game of the recently arrived Covert. A game I had bought second hand at a really good price off one of the Facebook boardgame trading groups.

I should point out, and I don’t think when people read that we played a learning game, it is exactly that. We haven’t even read the rules, or at best managed to skim read them before hand. Yes not ideal, and for some this is a major sin. But we have busy lives, and sometimes it is easier this way!

So after setting up, going through the rules we started playing Covert.

I think the theme comes across really well in this game, from the components, graphic design, and the mechanics. They just combined well to bring out the theme.

You have elements of hidden information where players are keeping their code cards, missions, operation tokens and ‘activity’ cards (can’t remember the exact name). Then you have open information,such as your dice, character, completed missions and code cards.

And this works really well especially the dice. The first phase of a ’round’ starts with everyone rolling their dice, and taking it in turns to allocate them to actions. Knowing the other players dice allows you to potentially block another player on an action. 

You also during this phase get the chance to grab first player advantage but doing so means you will have to forgo at least one action to do so. 

But being first means you get first attempt at code breaking, which is the next phase. And you may really need to be first to make sure you decode your card and get that bit of equipment you badly need. “Oh no”, did they just play an operation token to steal first player spot for code breaking? !!! 

Or it might be you really need to be first taking actions in the third phase so you get that mission card you really wanted.

The operation tokens were cool. And provided one way to mitigate poor dice rolls, or other cool effects like moving agents three spaces. But it costs you a dice in the allocation phase to get one, and they are random.

If I’d drawn the right one in the last round of our game Jonathan may not have won! 

Those ‘activity’ cards. Love them, multiple use. Act as equipment, can be used to fly an agent to the city named. Or finally can be used for its ability. The abilities are the same as the operation tokens as far as I can tell. So another way to mitigate poor dice rolls, and other cool powers. 

Completing missions possibly depending on the mission gives you not only points but a permanent resource that can be used to complete other missions. 

There is a lot to like about this game. It’s not super heavy. But it’s fun. At one point Debbie thought our game was never going to finish. But Jonathan and I both completed the majority of our missions in the last three rounds, we both had rounds where we completed two or three missions in a round.

It was a quick game to pick up, although Debbie didn’t grok it until near the end. We had the majority of the game down easily by end of turn two. Then it was just clarifying the odd point or symbol.

A great fun game, Jonathan was James Bond in the end for the record.

So that was our only game for the evening. 

Great company, great beverages and food, and a great game. What more do you need to end the week, and start the weekend?

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