This last week has been slightly different, in that I probably played more video games than board games! On Friday night I hosted a small LAN party for some of my friends from University and had an evening making lots of noise in our overfilled lounge ^^. I did still play board games of course, and even managed to slip one in with some of those video-gamer friends :)
Wednesday – Halesowen Board Gamers
At halesowen this week we once again played a game of Viticulture. On this occasion it was a highly overloaded game with a lot of extra content to try out, and I’m very appreciative that James, Phil & Andy were up for playing despite a lot of it being a bit ‘print+play’ ^^.
As I’ve left it a bit long I forget how the games flow went, but there’s a few points I remember about how things went. First of all we had a very worker-heavy game, with all players hitting the maximum of 6 workers, which is something that’s not happened before when I’ve played Viticulture. The extra spots available make it a little more worth it to take this tactic, but I think that a player staying to 4 or 5 could still have kept up just fine.
Another interesting thing is that every player got and used the Yoke. I think this is in part as a result of 2 (3?) of the players having all 3 of their fields populated with vines, and the only way to make use of that was to have an extra harvest opportunity. I was making use of it so that I could worry about using other actions in that season, such as making wine rather than getting the grapes for it. I might not have bothered, but a visitor card gave me 1VP per $2-$3 building, so it seemed worthwhile to have all 3 that fit that description.
For the first few years I didn’t get my vines planted, as I was never able to take the plant 2 spot (James did the same too), I think this was a mistake as I had extra orders at the end that I just didn’t have time to fill. When I did get them planted however I managed to have a well balanced pair of fields, with my 3rd being sold off for money. I spent a couple of years gathering grapes/wine and was prepared to start filling orders when it suddenly dawned the game would end within a year or two! My first order fullfillment was the 2nd to last year, and while I’d got VP’s from some other sources I was at the back of the pack and 2nd-to-last in the pick order for placements.
I opted to go last, and avoided using workers as much as possible (I used one to harvest and one to make wine, keeping the other 5 free), this let me sell wine (Only for 2VP but last year so worth it ^^) and after everyone else passed step in and take both fill order spaces putting me just behind 2 of the other players. Some end game scoring put all 3 of us on 27VP! Andy T was fortunate enough to have more money left over and win the tie-break, so well done for that!
Friday – LAN Party
On Friday I hosted a LAN party for myself and 6 of my friends from University. The first task of the evening was to actually fit everyone in, which I probably should have thought about beforehand! In the end it involved moving just about the whole room around, and nicking a small table from my housemates room leaving us with 5 on one table and 2 on the other, huzzah! :P
I had originally hoped to place Space Cadets before we got computers and such set up, but as we had 7 people and not 6 or less I figured it was best not to push it ^^. Instead, the first game we played was League of Legends with 3 of us while we waited for others to patch as they played other games. It was an ARAM game where we happened to get a comically overpowered team to shred the other side (Something like Lux, Ezreal, Nidalee, Soraka, +1) without needing to get close and having heals to boot.
When all players (Except one who isn’t much of a LoL lover) were patched up, we queued up and had a couple of games of Hexakill. This is a temporary game mode where the game goes 6vs6 instead of the standard 5vs5, which breaks down the ‘metagame’ and leads to hilarity where everyone isn’t quite sure how to arrange themselves best. Our first game had me & Handy top lane as Viktor and Wukong respectively, where we did pretty well (Well..Handy did, but my pick was rushed thanks to Grant ignoring me in picking..-_-). The enemies mid laner got pretty fed on Yasuo (Or jungler, not sure) making him pretty terrifying for a good while, but who ultimately built too squishy so he didn’t last long enough to do too much. We won the game thanks to some good teamplay/split-pushing!
Our second game we went with silly-mode in that we played team-yordle. This was something like Tristana, Lulu, Heimerdinger, Amumu, Kennen & Teemo. This might have gone ok, but I was against Ziggs and got absolutely trashed, thanks to his not needing to worry about turrets with his long range. I’m not sure how well the other lanes went, but as our jungler helped them instead of me despite my comments I presume they were poor too. We lost in the end as we just couldn’t quite draw the game on long enough (I think that another 5 minutes and we could have caught up enough to turn the tide, but that advantage from the early game hurt too much. The other teams long-range ult comp was a bit of a pain too, Ashe ult into 5 others…insta death.
Following this, we changed to a different game to get Dave involved (The absentee from LoL). The game we went for was Artemis, and this time Ash abstained, leaving us again with 6 (I don’t generally want to play Artemis but it’s more fun to play it with others than play solo In a corner to be honest!). We had a number of games, and I got to try out Comms, Weapons & Helm in that time, which were all fairly fun, although I spent more time tabbed out of the game than not when playing as commons. We won 3 games I believe out of 4, with Handy being the captain in the failed game. The last one we switched from jump drive to warp drive (I’d had helm a second time in a row) which I found a lot of fun for navigating around obstacles in traveling places.
With that done, 3 of us in the room started up a game of openra, which for whatever reason noone else wanted to do (I don’t get the rts hate with this group, *;(*). This was me, Dave & Shakespeare, with Me & Dave as allies and Shakespeare as Soviets I think, plus one computer player who I pretty much didn’t see ^^. Dave dominated the game, as for one thing he seemed to actually know what he was doing. I sat in a corner and occasionally threw things at people as I had a reasonable economy built up, and Shakespeare got pretty screwed in his corner as he didn’t know about capturing oil rigs for the extra income :S
Everyone just sort of split into different games then, ‘War Thunder’ seemed to get played a lot, and Shakespeare who was next to me played some planetside 2. We sorted a game of Red Alert 2 out a bit later on, which ended up just being me & Dave vs AI – we were going to do a bigger game but I think people had difficulty getting it setup, so maybe next time. We lost anyway, probably because I’m really bad at Red Alert! My chrono legionnaires took down a lot of enemies though!
After sleeping, we got some more individual games on before packing up, and I took the opportunity to suggest a board game. With just me, Handy, Dave & Shakespeare remaining we played Carcassonne. It was a fairly friendly game with us playing that fields were worth only 2/city instead of 3, and one where Handy managed to take the victory, damnit Handy! ;)
Sunday – Afternoon Play
The problem with afternoon play is that if you don’t get there right on time, it’s a bit short to do much. We went on Sunday and only actually played one game, with an American guy who was called Jordan or John, not really sure as we both heard different things =P We played Smash Up which he picked up very fast. I was Steampunk Locals, Grace was Miskatonic Zombies and Jordan/John played Wizard Tricksters. The game was pretty tight at the end, with all 3 of us being within a turn of taking victory, but J managed to take it just ahead of me, thanks to lots of screwing me over the game (God damn tricksters :P). Despite my faction I barely managed to keep actions on bases! Good game though.
In the evening me & Grace played a game of Carcassonne while watching Lord of the Rings. I managed to get a lot of cities but really messed up with using all my meeples, missing a couple of good scoring opportunities. Grace neatly took the victory something like 90-70 ish I think! Highlight of the night is that she enjoyed LoTR, great success!
Fun week as always. looking forward to Halesowen tomorrow and whatever other gaming opportunities come up! Till then…um…bye or something ;)