This is for day 9 of #Blogmas 2020.
This article of mine was originally published in the Board Game Crate booklet that came in their boxes. Now that they are unfortunately no longer trading, here it is again for everybody to enjoy.
Whenever I enter a toy store with my children I always head off over to the aisle that proudly heralds the presence of board games. Every time I have high hopes, and every time I’m faced with a wall of boxes sporting brightly-coloured moulded cheap plastic and labels stating, ‘Whipped cream not included’ or ‘Download the app!”
Now, I remember growing up with games with a lot of moulded plastic, such as Downfall and Guess Who (admittedly nothing I had to shove my face through) and have fond memories of many of them. However, it’s been nearly 25 years since the Settlers of Catan shook up the gaming world. Since then board games have come on leaps and bounds with deck builders, warfare miniatures, card drafters, bluffers, strategy and so on. Not only that, but most gaming styles have offerings that fall into the ‘budget’ price bracket and are easy to play as a family. A Game Of Thrones: Hand of the King, Tsuro, Star Realms and Rumble in the House are just a few examples.
Unfortunately, mainstream toy stores don’t usually stock such things, but will stock yet another Monopoly iteration – latest one I spotted was Fortnite – or Don’t Step In It! which, I suppose, is the natural successor to Doggie Doo…
So have I become a gaming snob or do normal people only consider it a game if it features a randomly flushing plastic toilet?
Five players this week and a very warm welcome to JM, thank you for joining us this evening.
HG didn’t want a late night so we kicked of with a shorter game:
by Repos Production.
We brought HG up to speed with the rules and play commenced.
Cards were played, resources were paid for, wonders were built, armies were raised and a good time was had by all.
At the game’s conclusion the final scores were:
|Civic Building VPs
|Commercial Building VPs
|Scientific Structure VPs
DA for the win!
HG took her leave and JM was very decisive in choosing
by Gamelyn Games.
After going over the rules for JM those space dice started to roll.
DA was the first to acquire a planet, and the next, and the next.
JM unfortunately didn’t quite realise how planets worked until near the end of the game so it should be noted that she would have down much better had we picked up on that sooner.
In the end it was MC who passed the 21 VP mark first (also his secret mission was to end the game). Being the last player of the round, the game ended there and then.
Kudos to MC!
Next up we played
by Calliope Games
We really enjoyed this last week playing with 2 ships each, so we did it again here.
We played two games.
Despite the death-wish the dragons had, eating each other and leaping of the board, KV lost both his ships very early on. MC was the last to have a single ship afloat.
The dragon’s self-destructive behaviour continued in the second game. However they were still voracious enough to eliminate JM then both of MC’s ships at once. DA and KV doggedly persevered for a goodly while until DA found he couldn’t steer and ended up in the belly of a dragon.
Horay for KV! It only took 5 games to see victory!
To round off the evening we played
by Flatlined Games
DA really has it in for that guy in the chicken suit.
KV and MC raced ahead and were neck and neck at the end of round 2 at 19 points apiece.
Unfortunately for MC it all fell apart when both his housemates were eliminated very early on gaining him only 2 more points. The final standing housemate belonged to no one, but KV was the first runner up.
Huzzah for KV!
Thanks to all our players for a fantastic year of playing games.
May you all have a very merry Christmas and hope to see you all again in the new year.
Five of us this week.
With DA and HG turning up first, SC briefly joined us is a quick round of Sushi Go, during which KV and PH turned up.
by Moonster Games was the game of eventual choice.
DA played as the blue Sharks, the obvious go-to choice for an anthropomorphic race of water-dwelling beings.
HG played as the purple Goblins
KV played as the orange Reptilians who think a dragon is a hot-air balloon
MC played as the white scantily-clad ice-dwelling Amazons who are presumably well-versed in the phrase “Freezing your tits off.”
PH played as the yellow tree elf-like Shibuke
This was a new one to all of us, but we quickly got to grips with the rules and the collection of cubes and tokens commenced. The bag of cubes gradually emptied as the white cube – Ryū’s Tear – refused to come out. Finally, as the penultimate cube, Ryū’s Tear made its first appearance. Having enjoyed the limelight Ryū’s Tear then proceeded to make a reappearance on average every other turn. It went from being eagerly anticipated to highly annoying, regardless of how much we shook the bag up.
PH ended the game by completing his dragon.
HG and KV had completed 4 dragon pieces each with DA and MC only managing 3 pieces each.
I must confess, I was a little concerned with this one. I had picked it up from The Works on a whim (£15 made it so tempting), and then heard less than flattering reviews for it. However, despite it lacking a little something, it actually played perfectly fine.
HG then bowed out leaving the four of us to have a
by Flatlined Games.
It’s worth mentioning that DA achieved the in-house low of 3 points in the second round.
MC was the winner after the three rounds.
Next up was
by Gamewright Games.
A new one to PH.
Well done DA.
To finish, we played three rounds of
by Calliope Games.
We each controlled 2 ships each.
the first game was the longer-lasting one, with DA being the first to lose both boats. The dragon population dwindled to 3 while PH and MC fought to keep on sailing. In the end PH found himself with no good choices left and ended up in the belly of a dragon. A win for MC.
The second game saw KV place his ship next to MC’s on a corner. MC’s first tile placement moved KV’s ship off the board. KV’s second ship wasn’t far behind. To make up for their lack in the previous game, the dragons increased their number to a total of 9.
The remaining dinghies that were dancing with death were eaten in a significant dragon move, leaving a solitary boat belonging to DA afloat. A win for DA.
The third game saw a collection of 6 boats placed adjacent to each other. Chaos ensued leaving MC boatless. There was much less dragon action this time round, though a few extra were added dueing the game. In the end PH again managed to find both his ships in a tight spot, but held in just long enough to have the last boat intact.
A win for PH.
What a great evening of games.
If you are local to Bedford and fancy having a go at a board game that isn’t Monopoly or Pie Face, then check out our FAQ page to find out how.
Four of us again this week.
While there were three of us we had a quick game of Loony Labs’
PH of course turned up during the game and got dealt in.
KV went on to win due to the Rule stating that Creepers don’t stop you winning and by having the two required Keepers (the only 2 he had)
The main even was
by Arcane Wonders courtesy of KV.
After KV set it up and explained the rules we then went on to play the game…well duh!
KV chose to start with a level 3 Economy Pyramid.
MC edged his bets and went for a level 2 Economy Pyramid and a level 1 Defence Pyramid.
PH followed KV’s example with a level 3 Economy Pyramid.
DA chose to go for the Level 3 Defence Pyramid.
Temples were quickly snatched up with MC being the only player to hold more than one at the end of the first day, including the Sacrificial Temple.
Needless to say on the second day, MC got systematically hammered into prehistoria and never held a temple again.
The Sacrificial Temple was hotly contested starting with MC who lost it to KV who lost it to MC’s retaliation who immediately lost it to PH with an Elephant and held it against MC’s subsequent retaliation.
DA went largely uncontested for the majority of the game, brushing off MC’s Scorpion-assisted attack as nothing but losing a temple to KV and ending the game.
KV has clearly played this one before
Next up we all took turns to take on the persona of
by Matagot also courtesy of KV.
Not really a write-uppable game, you had to be there so I’ll pick out the highlights:
MC called KV’s bluff finding a contraband Bread in a batch of Cheese. KV had accidentally put the Bread in instead of the other Cheese.
DA played the greasy sheriff so well we all took our bribes back and told him to go without.
PH successfully lied.
Final scores in order of revelation:
MC thought he’d done quite well with triple figures…so did KV.
Well done DA.
Finally we had two games of Flatlined Games’
After a solid lead in the first two rounds, DA lost first place to KV.
KV continued his winning streak with the first two rounds of the second game. The third round saw a massive pile-up in the middle of the house leaving MC and KV in joint first place. DA, who caused the rumpus happened to find his two house-mates in the same room in the middle of the house and just piled house-mates in. A ploy that might have worked out, but didn’t.
Player of the night award goes to KV who won almost everything.
Noob of the night award goes to MC who could get to grips with the combat system in Kemet and failed at being a Sheriff.
On this fine night our main game was
However we kicked off with a quick game of
End result of that was: EM-27; MC-28; PH-15
Huzzahs for MC!
So yeah, we had a go at Agricola.
Crops were grown, animals were birthed…and eaten.
End result of that was: EM-26; MC-26; PH-34.
Whoopi for PH!
With a bit of time left we had a run of
Death! Mayhem! More death! More mayahem! Less death! Feeling better! Feeling better! Argh! Death again!
Zippedy do for EM!
A warm welcome to EM this week.
While waiting for PH, we decided to start off with:
with the intention of getting about a round in and then PH turning up. As it happens, we managed all 3 rounds with the scores being: AL-25, MC-24, SF-21, EM-20.
While discussing which game to play (no votes this week) PH turned and and we decided to make him choose.
The races we became were:
AL Trader, Orange
EM Sorcerer, Yellow
MC Ethic, Purple
PH Virus, Green
SF Mercenary, Black
The Virus and Trader races were switched.
MC, PH and SF all lost their racial ability.
The Hazard card making all inactive racial abilities active again.
PH losing almost all his ships to the Warp
EM not having a single alien colony in their home system, despite our best efforts.
MC getting about a third of the deck as his hand.
Well done EM. Tough luck PH, this is the first time you didn’t win this game.
Tonight we thought we’d play PM’s new game where square footage is an actual thing to score points with:
However, while waiting for him to turn up, we played:
About halfway through the first round, PM turned up.
Stopped at the end of the round with AL at 10, MC at 9 and PH at 8.
PM kindly explained the rules and the significance of square footage. I promised to use square footage in this write up. So: Square Footage!!!
The four favours of the night were:
Number Of corridors
Square footage of corridors
Square footage of gardens
Square footage of recreational rooms
Not really a game needing a blow, by blow account. Lots of thinking happened, particularly with the Masters Builders and what order the rooms should be in the shop.
This is what it looked like near the beginning:
This is what it looked like at the end:
Anything to do with square footage.
PH’s lack of square acreage (his castle is in the bottom right in the above photo)
MC going skint.
AL going for the most ‘aesthetic’ castle.
PM investing heavily in L-shapes and bedrooms and L-shaped bedrooms.
MC investing heavily in recreational rooms.
PH interpreting the flame symbol () for living rooms as an onion, so onions rooms they were.
A discussion on the game’s title and whether that meant the castles themselves needed to be mad…
Yes, that’s right, we all beat the only person who’s played this game before.
Player of the night awarded to AL for winning a round of Rumble in the House, making the most aesthetic castle, and making a point to appreciate everyone elses castles from a practical perspective, i.e. how would a visitor literally move through the castles and room accessibility.