Welcome to week 31, a week that turned out to be a pretty active gaming week surprisingly, I kind of figured there would be a bit of a fall off after last week but there wasn’t.
Week started out with a Board Game Arena session on Monday night with the Bullock’s, Bill Corey and Scott Wholley. I was introduced to the wonderful set collection game Coloretto which we flew through a couple times with Bill winning one and Jordan winning the other. Kind of an interesting little game, something that would probably get a bit of love around here if we had a copy, wonder who I should talk to in order to solve that dilemma. After that we played a four player game of Takenoko, I absolutely love Takenoko but it’s been about a year since it hit the table so I had to remember a couple small things that I had forgotten, but all was good and fun with Kimberly winning this one on the tiebreaker over Bill with 32 points, kind of low scoring if memory serves me correctly but it certainly was fun. Then Thursday night we had another short impromptu session with Jared and Todd joining Kimberly and myself for a rousing game of Stone Age. I still haven’t played Stone Age face to face, I’ve only tackled it a couple times on Board Game Arena, and it’s a fun little game, but I need to remember that if I am not going to rush through a stack of buildings before the others can stock up on some nice cards, I should probably hop into the card bonus game as well. I triggered the end game and Todd and Jaren blew past me with their bonuses, with Jared pulling out the win with 126 points, 30 ahead of me. After that Scott joined us for a 3 player game of Can’t Stop in which my superior strategic mind became one with the dice and we won. I love this game, it’s so random and goofy and can lead to some really fun moments. That’s about as active as I have been on Board Game Arena in a long time, 5 games in a week brought me up to 23 total plays on the site in spite of me being a member over there for three years. Hoping I can continue to play more games on there, and I really hope to pick up Polis and get a game of it played online in a learning game, but really with 75 games to play, both in real time and in turn based, there are a ton of games over there to learn without taking the plunge into buying before trying.
End of Last Will on our table
So, last week on the podcast I mentioned trying to get Gabby to play “heavier” games, and in doing so I mentioned Last Will. It was rightfully pointed out to me that Last Will really isn’t a heavy game, but what I kind of meant by that is that I want to get Gabby playing games that she hasn’t played before and maybe have different mechanisms or different ways of playing than she is used to, she’s kind of become the old gamer of our family group, she doesn’t want to learn new games as much as she used to, she just wants to play what she knows and likes. But anyway, on Friday morning I saw a tweet from Paul Grogan, asking if anyone wanted to take a look at his new Last Will rules overview video and check it for audio and graphical issues, so of course I offered to check it out and in the meantime I got to refresh my brain on it in hopes of getting it to the table. Well it turns out that Gabby and her cousin had plotted out a sleepover so no Gabby at the house, so I corralled Kerensa into playing it with me as a learning game. Last Will is at its heart an economic game where the object is to lose all of your money instead of gaining as much as possible. This is done through some Action Point Allowance, Worker Placement and tableau building mechanics. At the start of the round, the players choose their plan, this plan sets how many cards the players will draw, how many helpers the players will get to use and how many actions they get on top of any actions granted by cards in their tableau. Players can use their helpers to gain new cards, they can adjust the real estate prices, they can go to the opera for a couple bucks or they can add a new space to their tableau. After the helpers are done, players then use their allotted actions to place cards into their tableau or activate cards already in their tableau in order to spend money. You play six rounds to the game, and if no one declares bankruptcy by the end of the 6th round, you play one more round and whomever has the least amount of cash is the winner. I left a lot out of the description there, like the card types and such, but I think that covers the basics of how the game is played. I quite enjoyed this one and in our game I only had one property and let it depreciate as far down as I could before I just started spending money for upkeep. Kerensa on the other hand had three total properties at one time or another during the game, including two farms, so she was doing more of a real estate juggle than I was, but in the long run, both of us ended up declaring bankruptcy in the 6th round, with Kerensa winning by being in the hole one more dollar than I was. I really enjoyed playing this one, but just like any other game that Kerensa and I tackle for the first time, the game time on the box is just mocking us, I’d say it took us a good 2 1/2 hours or so to play it, sure there were rules and iconography to look up and even a couple AnnaBeth or dog interruptions, but we took a long time. So I am really looking forward to playing this one now that we know the rules and how it plays a bit more, and I’m hoping that Gabby is willing to join in with us as I think she’ll have fun with it too, especially if we get into the theme of it a bit more as the rules and mechanics move to the background in our heads. So thank you Paul, for helping me get Last Will off of the shelf and onto the table.
(As soon as the video is out and available, I will post it here for all to see as Paul does fantastic work)
Saturday was filled with Farmer’s Market fun and culling out old clothes for the donation bins. But on Saturday evening we went over to Brad and Kate’s house for some grilling and a game. We were all set for a 5 player game of Transylvania: Curses and Traitors but Kate and Brad’s little one was a bit fussy so Kate stepped out and it became a 4 player game. Transylvania: Curses and Traitors is a Thematic, exploration and adventure game where the group of explorers are trying to collect the right combinations of knowledge cards and get back to the Church, or kill a monster to win the game. What are these monsters? Well during the game, there is always a chance that the players could turn into one of three monsters, either a vampire, a werewolf or a zombie, if that happens, the monsters need to kill half of the players in order to win. Throughout the game players are exploring to new areas and expanding the map, when a new tile is put down, tokens are placed in specified spots that the explorers can make checks against in order to draw discover cards which is one way to find the knowledge cards that you need to collect. There are also events that can happen and you’ll have to roll checks against to overcome the effects that could happen due to the event. In our game I was the Hero, Kerensa was the Inventor, Gabby was the Big Game Hunter and Brad was the Witch Hunter, well, at least that’s what everyone started out as.
Gabby was the first to turn and she became the zombie. Her first move was to teleport to me due to a horrible item that I had to equip, some stinking necklace that allowed me extra health, but also allowed the monsters to teleport to me once per game. So she came at me and hit me pretty good, but never could follow that up with another attack as I could out run her, next to go was Brad and he changed into the vampire and next to go was Kerensa who turned into a werewolf, so there was the hero, all alone and on the run. I had some space, but the bad thing was, I couldn’t draw the right combination of knowledge cards to get back to the church to win and I was hurt from encountering Gabby’s zombie so I didn’t think my best course of action was to take it to one of the monsters, so I ran, but eventually Brad killed me. I thought the game was over, but Brad informed me that for the monster to win, they have to kill half the players, so he needed to kill me another time. So I respawned as another hero on the church tile and I tried to run in circles for a bit to discover knowledge cards, but the dice failed me and Kerensa got me this time rather quickly. Okay so now the game is over, right? Nope, now Kerensa and Brad both needed to kill me another time, because this isn’t a co-op, so I respawn and this time I respawned as the Templar, pretty good attack but low movement, so I figure I am completely out of it now, with the werewolf and the vampire both breathing down my neck. So on my turn I do a bit of exploring around the Church tile and I find the Bible! Perfect card as it gives me +6 to attack since there are three monsters out on the board, the tide shifted to me. Brad was already hurt and didn’t want to come into the church to get me, as after taking his 2 damage for entering the church tile he’d be down to 2 health points, so he opted to let the Werewolf come at me. She rolled her 10 dice and got 12 pts damage, I rolled my 11 dice and got 19, enough to kill the werewolf and win the game as the lone hero. For those of you who listen to the podcast or know a bit about what we normally play as a family, you know that this isn’t our normal fare. Brad and Kate backed this one on Kickstarter after playing it at Geekway last year and finally had it show up after a bit of a shipping debacle a couple weeks ago. Brad and Kate were wanting to play it so we agreed to give it a run, and we enjoyed it quite a bit. Well, technically Kerensa and I did, Gabby fell asleep a bit after turning into a zombie so we just kind of played her character for her the rest of the game. I was into it, even enough that I think I was kind of annoying everyone else. But hey, that just meant I was having fun. Now, while I enjoyed it, I know a big part of that is the way the game ended and how the dice were in my favor, if that had flipped I would have still enjoyed the game for the most part, but I may not have been as happy with it. It’s thematic, it’s fun but like anything with dice, they can turn on you at a moment’s notice and ultimately I don’t like being out of control like that too often, although maybe I should as I seem to lose quite a few games where there is little to no luck involved. Glad this one is around and I look forward to playing it again, and this time I hope that Kate gets to sit down with us and play.
Final map right after I flipped the last tile
The winning hero and her Bible
After that it was midnight and everyone was ready for some sleep, even those who were already asleep, so we packed up and headed home to rest up.
Sunday so far has only consisted of some goofing off with AnnaBeth and Gabby with One Night Ultimate Werewolf and a two player game of Arboretum. The One Night Ultimate Werewolf doesn’t necessarily really get played, even though AnnaBeth understands the rules, she has issues with being the Werewolf to the point where if she gets the werewolf to start, we have to re-deal out cards, but hey, she’s just 5 years old so I go with it. Sooner or later she’ll understand that the werewolf is actually the most fun to play in this game. As for the game of Arboretum, I think it is one that Gabby would rather forget as I beat her 31-0. I thought I may have had a chance to break her high score, which is 31, but she managed to knock me out of scoring one small path so I was stuck with only tying the high score. I think she was a bit aggravated that she got shut out, but I reminded her that I’ve scored 2 points before, which is basically like being skunked as well.
The acquisition section is blank this week, I’m trying to watch what I spend on gaming over the next couple months as I know these Kickstarters are going to fund pretty soon and I can’t really afford to be adding other games as well. But, once the last Kickstarter currently on my list funds, there are a couple that I am really looking forward to picking up and trying out. Currently I’m eyeing Historia and I would love to pick up a copy of Glen More if I can find an affordable copy.
So the first news here is that I did indeed drop our backing of Epic. The more updates we received of it, the more I could see it never getting played. It’s not a game that Kerensa would take to, at least it doesn’t look like one and I don’t know how much Gabby would want to play it either. I think Brad and Kate would enjoy it so I am hoping they at least pick up a box as I’d love to try it, just don’t think that we need to have our own physical copy of it. With 52 hours left as of time of writing out the podcast, the project was closing in on $410k, so obviously they don’t need my help and I may not know what I am going to be missing. I am holding steady on The Gallerist and on Carson City, they don’t really need my help either, but there is no way that I am missing these two games this time around. The Gallerist is still going strong in spite of the kerfuffle that popped up between Martin Wallace and Eagle Gryphon Games over the rights to produce Brass. Thankfully the funding for The Gallerist keeps going up and they’ve even added a couple new art stretch goals, one with a fantastic story behind it, be sure to check the forums on Board Game Geek for that one if you are interested. It’s hard to tell just how well the campaign is going as Eagle Gryphon is running multiple campaigns for it around the world, but the Kickstarter campaign is at almost $56k at the moment and reported on the 26th to be over $75k for the campaign in total. Carson City keeps on chugging along with 16 days left in the campaign and currently sitting right at $138k, not much to add about the campaign, currently just working on the final listed stretch goal and on the 26th they announced a contest for backers to get a face on one of the personalities in the game, but Kickstarter doesn’t allow contests so everything about this is up in limbo at the moment, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. The new Kickstarter of the week for me is the initial game from Hyperbole Games, Hocus. Hocus is a card game for 2-5 players that plays in 30 minutes. The origin of the idea was: "what would poker be like with spells?" Hocus is about using your unique spells, carefully managing the cards in your hands, and scoring big when your opponents aren't watching. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter page on this one, it’s affordable at $15 with free shipping in the continental United States and it looks like it’s a lot of fun. It’s got a bit of a wait to get delivered, but all backers over $5 do get the high resolution print n play files so you can play it a bit while you wait. Oh, and it is already funded and sitting a little over $8k, but with this one you there are no stretch goals as they basically put all of their stretch goals already in the game for the price you pay, there may be some extra goodies down the road, but right now, Hocus is what you see.
Geeklist and Forum Thread
A little slower week in the Geeklist and thread, I am going to assume that’s because everyone was getting ready for a big week this week. I do expect to see at least a couple good Dice Tower Convention write-ups, I believe that Steph was down there, and probably more that will pop up. Lots of great games talked about in the geeklist, saw a play of Carson City from Jon, who also posted a really nice photo of some bunk beds he’s made, awesome work! Lots of hexes on that front page from Battlelore and Clash of Cultures and then some circles with some bright Aquasphere. Still have not seen a copy of it in the wild to get a play. Scott got a play of Polis in, looks like it was on Board Game Arena, so maybe I’ll have to poke around for some tips from him just in case I ever get a play in! Sarah had a ton of plays in, and kicked my rear end more than a couple times in Star Realms, so just know, a couple of those wins she listed are against me. Spyfall is starting to get some geeklist and thread love, if I had a big enough group to regularly play this it’d be in the collection already, but as it is, I have too many big group games that don’t get played enough, but it looks like a ton of fun. Even Scattergories is getting some love! I went and tried to get a copy of Spinderella thanks to Scott, but by the time I got over to Amazon.de it wasn’t going to be in stock again until September, even had a copy of The Game in the shopping cart until I noticed that date!! Lots of great games this week folks, I have no doubt that this week will be just as good!