Games Night 25th October 2018

A warm welcome to GN as we embark on combat and conquest in the Kropulu sector with

by Fantasy Flight Games
DA played as the Terran Arcturus Mengsk
GN played as the Protoss Tassadar
MA played as the Terran James Raynor
MC played as the Zerg Queen Of Blades
PH played as the Zero Overmind

The various factions quickly started claiming their neighbouring planets with Raynor and Tassadar the first to come to blows.

The Queen of Blades benefited from quickly controlling 3VPs worth of conquest areas, but suffered from the lack of resources. Particularly once Raynor started his invasion of Abaddon.
As time went on, time quickly became approaching midnight, so various attempts to speed the game play up were made. If one action had no consequence to the subsequent player then play would continue while the faffing went on. This worked quite well but did result in two simultaneous battles taking place between Raynor vs Tassadar and The Overmind Vs Mengsk. The Queen of Blades took this photo while waiting for things to conclude:

Unfortunately for James Raynor, a series of losses left him with no active forces, and it was only through his Terran ability to move his last surviving base was he even able to stay in the game. As it happens, even if he had been eliminated, the end of the game had already been triggered.
With many factions meeting their special victory conditions Phase III came into being but two players beat the rest to the punch by having 15 Conquest Points.

At the game’s conclusion (at 00:15 am), The Queen Of Blades and Arcturus Mengsk both had 15 Conquest Points. However Mengsk, being the sly politician that he is, was able to secure more resources and so attained victory.
Well done DA.
Tassadar and The Overmind both had 11 Conquest Points and the remnants of James Raynor had 9.
Another excellent play of this game!

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Games Night 23rd October 2018

Four of us this time which saw us mixing up the DNA and getting visitors eaten with:

by Pandasaurus Games
In the opening random draw MC found himself in 4th place, turnwise. A position he wasn’t able to shake for the entire game. Very early on, KV make it clear his calvalier approach to the well-being of visitors.

Despite the huge fatality count, visitors kept flocking to the parks.
In a final push and deliberate oversight of health a safety, the final unclaimed objectives were claimed and more visitors were eaten.

The final scores:
DA: 41 with a park score of 30 = 71
KV: 36 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 44 = 104
MC: 53 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 34 = 111
PH: 54 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 36 = 114
Well done PH!

To wrap up the evening we finished off with a game of

by Space Cowboys
Gems were acquired and cards were reserved and attained.

MC was the first to reach 15 points.
Final scores:
DA: 3
KV: 3
MC: 17
PH: 10
That was pretty decisive…well done MC!

TableTop October 2018

In support of its first ever appearance, Sabrina and I went to Ally Pally for the TableTop thingummy. Primarily, this was to play some games. But if I were to find a game or two, well, I wouldn’t say no.

by iello Games
In not saying no, we were barely there before being enrolled in the King Of Tokyo tournament. It was a quiet start to the day and we barely had enough to form a game, but eventually there were six and so the game commenced.

I played as Cyber Kitty and using my kitty destructive powers, I obliterated to opponents early on (apologies to Sabrina). One by one another two lucked out leaving just myself and a guy playing as Meka Dragon. It came down to a single roll to determine the final outcome. Fortunately for the other guy it meant he won.
The top four players won some nice goodies (1st place also won a T-shirt).

Not bad for playing a game.
Following the tournament we wandered round the place checking out the stalls and picking up a couple of things. We bought Stone Age, and sensibly had the stall hold it for us to pick up later, rather than drag it round it day.
We also took the opportunity to play some games.


by Lookout Games
This was a gentle tetris-style tile placement game where you picked different shapes from the available supply and added them to your ‘quilt’. The theme worked well with the use of time, which was represented by each player having a pawn on the time track. Each piece would require an amount of time to complete so the pawn would move forward that amount. An enjoyable two-player game.


I wanted to try out a couple of games by Days of Wonder I’ve yet to play: Quadropolis (a game I’ve never liked the look of) and The River (which isn’t out yet).
Unfortunately, those two games were already in play and we got roped into playing a Ticket To Ride game, mainly because I pointed out that they’re all basically the same and they wanted to prove me wrong. So, Ticket To Ride: Germany is basically Ticket To Ride, but with coloured meeples randomly sitting in each station. Completion of a line gives that player up 2 two meeples (one from each station, if available). At the end of the game, players owning most of each colour meeple wins a bonus 10 VPs.

Strategy-wise, there’s a slight leaning to complete a non-route line just to collect some meeples, but at the risk of giving up the opportunity to claim the line you need. Didn’t add much to the game and I’d rather just buy a bag of meeples (or counters) and add them to my Ticket To Ride Europe game.
Sabrina won.


by
Fantasy Flight Games
This was a game I’d wondered about for a while. I’d seen Wil Wheeton play it on TableTop and it looked fun. However, I had a couple of reservations. Firstly, I recalled playing a similar style game with world world II fighter planes at a friend’s house (years ago) and had found the experience somewhat boring. Secondly, the game components, though really nice, do take up a fair deal of space.
My wife played as the two TIE fighters, I played as the X-wing. After a few turns of this, we’d both had gotten quite board and so we left it there to find something much more interesting.
My next purchase came in a nice cardboard box, but could only be played once.


by Hans im Gl├╝ck
After lunch we retrieved Stone Age, found an empty table and played it. This is the quintessential worker placement game where you take turns sending you tribe members off to hunt for fod or other resources, build better stone tools, develop a more self-sufficient agriculture, build huts, or make more tribe members (they even have a specific hut for that – room for two only).

We both very much enjoyed this one. I won.


by Games Quest
After wandering around a bit more, and picked up a few choice items. We got accosted by someone asking if we wanted to play a game. Of course we did.
PetEvil is a combative card game in it’s infancy (due to go on Kickstarter by the end of the year, all going well). It is essentially a less-manic variation than Epic Spell Wars. Players need to create and deploy missiles made up of a rocket, payload and as many explosives of the same colour as they wish. Rockets made up of 1, 2 or 3 differing colours will do different amounts of damage. This is made trickier by the 7-card hand limit. There are also other cards that can be drawn that can reduce damage, regenerate health or redirect the incoming missile. Players who launch the nuclear missile do so knowing they are going to cause ongoing havoc to all for the rest of the game. Now there’s a message there…
The plethora of adorable animals, puns and references offsets this otherwise inherently violent game. A very enjoyable game and I don’t just say that because I won.
One to look out for, particularly if you find Epic Spell Wars too much.

Back to base of operations (my parents’ house) for the night where we tried out

by Renegade Game Studios
A deck-building game where, as well as using cards to buy cards and do damage, you get to move a meeple about on a board to do a thing. Really enjoyed this one too.

Day Two
During the previous day Sabrina had made a list of games we wanted to try, so we headed straight for.

by
Blue Orange Games
This was a fascinating tile-placement game with a difference. Each player had their own dodecahedron ‘planet’ on which at affix magnetic land tiles. Each tile had six sections which could have water, ice, forest, dirt or desert. Players would have a secret goal but would also compete to win cards requiring specific land requirements. Though there was nothing inherently wrong with the game, it was fun enough, there was definitely something lacking. Beyond the novelty of playing on a magnetic dodecahedron, this was a straightforward tile-placement game that offered little more than that.

The awkward shape also made it difficult to ascertain just how much big a sea you have. This would have been better as a flat board upon which extra tokens or animals could have been placed to make a richer game. Glad I played it, wouldn’t buy it though.


by Lookout Games
From one 3-d tile placement game to another. Gingerbread has a wonderfully illustrated fairy-tale theme where players build a gingerbread cottage using cardboard ‘dominoes’ where each tile shows two types of gingerbread. Placing on tile on other will provide the gingerbread that is covered up in the placement, which, in turn, can be used to buy cards (VPs). Handy 1×1 tiles can be won, claimed or acquired by missing a turn to fill in those pesky gaps. This game is not yet available (they themselves only managed to get hold of a copy from somewhere in Italy). Highly recommended and worth looking out for.


by Czec Games Edition
A quick look through my games list will quickly tell you I’m a sucker for space-themed games. We were intrigued by the look of this one the previous day so took the opportunity to try it out. Really glad we did. Far to complex to describe here, it’s a game with many different facets and paths to success. Sabrina focused on harnessing Pulsars whilst I built up my space stations. Wonderfully produced and a whole lot of fun.

Had we seen this on the shelf, I would have picked it up. It’s on my Christmas list.


by Edition Spielwiese
In a similar vein to Patchwork, Sabrina really liked the look of Indian Summer, but Spring Meadow was the one available to try. Like with patchwork, players take turns claiming a shape and adding it to their board. Complete lines score as do holes that line up with burrows (printed on the board). The snow-filled board slowly fills from one end to the other with lush green grass as we play the role of Thaw – no not the one with the hammer, helmet and mother’s drapes. The game-play was pleasant enough but the bland colour palette (particularly set against the glorious colours of Indian) were a letdown. If we could have Indian’s colour scheme with this game-play (Indian’s more of a race), then we’d say yes please.


by alea
As we concluded Spring Meadow, Carpe Diem became available at the next table, so we gave it a go. With no idea what we were getting into, we found ourselves building our own little Carcasonne-style areas, collecting resources for completed zones and scoring against achieved (or failed) cards. This was a real surprise and very enjoyable. Another one to get.


Back to Days of Wonder where I finally got to try out Quadropolis. This is a city-building game that at no point give you the impression that that is what you are doing. The game itself was fine, nothing particularly special, but the theme just didn’t work at all for me. Compared to the brilliant components in Yamatai or Ticket To Ride, this felt a bit cheap. Had we been placing actual building miniatures – with the stack-able residential buildings – this might have a better appeal. Glad I played it, but not one I’ll be getting anytime soon.


The River conveniently became available so we mistakenly sat down to play it. Now, I can’t really give this game a fair review because the chap who demonstrated it to us, after two days of non-stop demonstrating it, was clearly fed-up to the back teeth of it. The fatigue of repetitiveness had clearly got to him. He poorly explained the rule which meant Sabrina had no idea what she was doing so also didn’t enjoy it. I was getting bad vibes from both of them which seriously damaged my calm. This is a worker placement game where stuff happens. The demonstrator was too busy totally destroying us to bother explain anything properly. A game to try again another timer, preferably with someone else.


by Sensible Object
This is a game we’ve had our eye on for some time now. This is a stacking game with a difference. The items you stack score according to a complex app-based world in a beautifully designed and implemented game. The only thing against it was the hefty price tag, but with the ongoing development and the addition of some very lovely expansions (which would make some very nice mantelpiece ornaments in the own right) this has got even more tempting. This stall had been busy all weekend, but towards the end of the day it was free, so we got to get another go at it. (Last time was Expo 2018). We didn’t do very well, but had fun at failing miserably.

On the whole we had a thoroughly good time. I found the limited crowds very pleasant, but did worry about the success of the event. Though not as big as Expo, with less available, I’d say I preferred TableTop because it was quieter. We got to try many, many games and picked up some wonderful things.
Here’s a video of me talking about those things here:

Hoping to do this again next year.

Games Night 2nd October 2018

On this night, four of us went on a spree of space thievery with

by Dire Wolf Digital and Renegade Game Studios
Of course we included the expansion

DA Orange
KV White
MC Purple
PH Blue

As the quad of quarrelsome questers quickly queried the quintessentially quietest routes. They spent an inordinate amount of time stumbling over cleaning bots and making an awful lot of noise. That as okay, though, because as fast as the Clank! built up, the Boss cards dutifully put it all in the bag. In the very first boss attach, the first row of the campaign card was filled causing widespread pain.

MC was first to access a computer and get a successful hack in. PH and DA managed to purchase the two teleportation chips, leaving the keys for KV and MC.
Once the second row of the campaign card filled up and the first of the bounty hunters joined the fray, things really became much more fraught. KV was first to leave the ship…by keeling over dead. MC made it safely off ship with the 10VP loot. DA was next to fall, not quite close enough to be rescued. This left PH with a final mad dash to the exit. Something he did eventually manage with the 20VP loot.
Final scores:
DA 33 #Deceased
KV 37 #Deceased
MC 77
PH 87
Well done PH!

Next up we battled it out amongst ourselves with:

by White Wizard Games
This time we each picked a Command Deck to start off with:

DA KV MC PH

And so there was much flinging across the space table of space damage to one another with MC quickly being hammered down to 9 Authority before being pretty much forgotten about.

As the heavy-hitters hit each other heavily, slowly reducing their Authority levels, each punch became that much heavier.
DA was the first to fall, having being the greatest perceived threat by the table. This left MC the opportunity he was waiting for so he annihilated KV and PH in a single turn.
Well done MC!
Those command decks really give a new flavour to this game, and it was good.

Games Night 25th September 2018

Four of us this week and

by Gamelyn Games was the game to play.

However DV turned up early so we played

by White Wizard Games
This turned out to be a real battle which eventually saw a winner. Interestingly, I can’t recall who won, but I think it was DV?

Good game, good game.

With everybody present we moved on to Tiny Epic Zombies.
We decided on a cooperative vs. A.I. game.

DA saw to our healthcare needs as the Doctor DV tried looking intelligent as the Scientist
MC tried to restore order as the Mallcop PH Despaired at the damage as the Janitor

The Zombie hoard was led by the plucky Teenager Zombie.

Our missions that we chose to accept were:

From their starting positions in the centre of the mall, the four rag-tag team of barely competent survivors did do merry bloody battle with the encroaching Zombie masses.
Amidst the cries of “BRRAAAIIINNS!” (and one instance of “TRRAAAAINNSSS!” in the Toy Store) Zombie viscera was blasted, knifed and bludgeoned across the ailing mall.
Tanks rode their way in, crushing all the Zombies in their paths and then running away again at the first sign of trouble.
The Doctor, who had seen way too many action movies, kitted himself out with a chainsaw and assault rifle and served living justice upon the undead.

In no time at all, the source was successfully investigated, and the army was soon brought in successfully.
Unfortunately, the Janitor, also doing well with the thing and the whatsit, was overridden and joined the Zombie collective.

A farmer was found hiding in a cupboard and threw in with the survivors.

However, the maniac Doctor took one chance to many and was torn apart just before the exit was reached, dooming the rest to a nasty end.
Failure!

After a quick game reset, we gave it another shot.
This time:

DA behaved like a spoiled Teenager DV looked mad as a Trucker who had somewhere to be
MC was no help at all documenting the chaos as the Photographer PH tried saving the world as a Scientist

The undead were organised rank and file by the Zombie Lawyer (insert your own lawyer joke here).

The missions:

In this hour our huddle of hapless heroes handled horrendous hungry hoards haphazardly, hewing heavy hand-tools heroically.
The plucky Photographer switched the chaos up a notch when she found the mall’s bazooka (free plushy with every purchase). Many a shop was exquisitely rearranged by the trigger-happy Photographer, doing herself as much damage as to the Zombies.
Too predictably, the Photographer’s reign of destruction was short lived and she was killed whilst knifing a Zombie who was busy exploring the bargain bin at the time.

A mechanic conveniently stepped in to take the Photographer’s place, but didn’t get to do that much.

Meanwhile, the Scientist, helpfully aided by the Teenager and Trucker (even the Photographer), wasted no time in successfully Quarantining the Infected, Saving the Stranded and even managed to Discover a Cure (take 2 aspirin and sleep it off).
Success!