Monthly Archives: July 2014

Halesowen Board Games #21 (16/07/14)

Viticulture

First game of the Evening was Viticulture, including the Tuscany expansion (Self-Printed Limited Falling Apart Edition). First time in a while as I’ve not really been pushing it – ridiculously enough being because I like the expansion a lot but know I have a fantastic properly-printed version coming which’ll put mine to shame ^^.

Our game consisted of myself, James & Mark, with Mark playing for his first time. We played with Mama’s & Papa’s and the extended board, but no other additions from the expansion. The former gives each player a variable start (Allowing me to start with a windmill and 2 wine-orders, Mark with a tasting room and a wine-order and James with an extra worker and a wine-order, plus one or two other things I forget (Everyone has 3 workers as standard too of course). The latter splits the game out into 4 seasons (From 2 in the base game), making for more action spaces and timing to think of, but less ‘moment-to-moment’ decisions (As there’s only 3 per season). (Edit – Also used properties, which make field values different (5,6,7) and led you ‘sell’ them for money).

The game started off with Mark & James rushing to get vine cards & planting them. I was going to join as one of my initial orders was a cheap fill (Red 4 & White 2), but missing out on getting any vines led me to go for my buildings first (Plus when I did get a vine, it was a 4 White which required both a Trellis & Irrigation to plant). An early card led me trade 3VP for 9 Lira, which helped with this strategy.

Both James & Mark managed to get decent early fields, with James having a slight advantage as he was making good use of his extra worker, while Mark struggled a little to get everything he wanted done with just 3 (Something which is fine in base Viticulture, but both the 3-Player game and the extended board contribute to making things more open, which also makes more workers stronger). I eventually got 4-white (or red, I forget, as I managed to draw 3 4-value vines in my first 4-5 vine cards) – I also started crawling back on VP from my -3 with a visitor letting me swap 1 grape + 1 wine for 1VP + 1 Lira/Year (I think I used the extended boards trade action to get the grapes to do it).

By the time I managed to get back over 0VP, James & Mark had moved ahead by a few and James seemed to have started building a huge amount of grapes, to the point it was looking very worrying for me & Mark. I had a 4R/3W and 4W field but struggled to find a low value red (Needed to be 1 or 2 to fit in the 6 value field), I did, however, manage to also grab a cottage and upgrade my cellar to max, and fill the low value order I mentioned earlier to be on 2Lira/Year. Mark seemed to be doing ok, but was also burning through quite a lot of Vine cards, and missed out a lot on harvesting (He eventually picked up a Yoke though).

When we got into the latter third of the game, James was winning by a…considerably amount, consistently getting to harvest-double and keep well stacked on grapes, so he could keep on picking up additional wine orders. (In hindsight I wasn’t helping the situation by using my Yoke and/or the harvest 1 & get a lira spot). Mark was a bit above me in points, but I had quite a good setup going (I’d finally found a 2-red grape so had 2 strong fields) as well as having almost every building (Lacking a tasting room, as didn’t want to be competing for tours).

When it came to the last year, which was to be triggered by James, of course, as he not only had orders to get him onto the end points but a ‘spare’ sparkling wine that he could have sold-directly to hit 25 anyway. I’d managed to get early in the turn-order (Might have been in the #1 spot having been #7 not long before in fact) which let me get an order filled to slip ahead of Mark, then sell Wine ahead of James for a further 4VP and cube movement. With all passed, I was at 21, James ~28 and Mark lower down (I forget where, apologies but I was starting intently at James’ marker wondering what else I could have done – A few things in fact as I certainly didn’t play perfectly). We then added on the end-game VP from the map (A feature of the extended board introducing an area control mechanism for a few extra points) – I jumped up 5 to 26, James to 30 and Mark an extra point or two.

So the victory went to James! First time in a good while I’ve had my ass kicked at the game, which is a pretty refreshing feeling so well played sir ^^. Mark did well for a first game, and could probably have hit 25 had there been one more year, and the scores between me & James were close, at just 4 apart (Perhaps I should have tried to convince Mark to block the other sell wine space, would have been a tie ^^).

Looking forward to the next play, quality of the print be damned =)

Steam Noir: Revolution

We had a good 45-minutes left for the evening, so opted to go for something short. I’d brought along Steam Noir & have been wanting to give it a spin for a while, just haven’t got around to getting people to play ^^.

Steam Noir is a bluffing/deception game where players are taking part in a revolution against ‘the empire’. Players try to maneuvre their faction into a winning state, but you have to be careful as there’s 3 possibilities.
1 – Succesful Revolution, and your faction is a small amount in the lead (<15 points ahead)
2 – Succesful Revolution, and you’re in 2nd on points with the highest >15 points ahead.
3 – Failed Revoluton, and you’re last on the points track.

This represents that either you’ve led a revolution and the people have accepted your faction as the new leaders, that you’ve led but appeared no better than the empire being overthrown, leading to your being kicked out of the revolution, or having failed to overthrow the empire, are the faction getting the least blame and hence least lashback from the empire.

Gameplay takes place over 3 months, with 4 weeks in each month. Each week, players play cards simultaneously (3 times) to determine a weekly winner (Who gets points on the main track, with the players supporting that faction that week getting points for their own hidden faction). At the end of each month players flip their temporary support cards (Chosen at the start of the month) and if that faction had most support that month, they get some additional points towards their hidden faction.

As the game continues, the various factions will go up the points track depending on how they do in invidual weeks. When the 3rd Month is over players flip their hidden faction cards and add the points they’ve built up to those factions on the track. The winner is then determined by the conditions mentioned above.

I’ve barely done the game justice in that explanation, as it’s a remarkably er…odd game to play, feeling quite different to anything else. The simultaneous play of cards each week is fun though, and can make the game fly by quite fast (We took an hour, but was probably ~30-45 minutes if not for explanation/checking the rulebook time).

In our game er…Well I barey know what was happening to be honest, but the suffragettes (purple) flew out ahead early, with green/blue not far behind and yellow/gray staying at 0 for a fair while. Mark got a lot of points towards his hidden faction quite early, supporting the strongest faction for a large part of the first month, although all 3 of us got good chunks of them by the end.

The endgame had the Empire getting it’s ass kicked, suffragettes out in 1st place, green in 2nd, merchants 3rd, empire, then the other 2 factions further back. James was supporting the suffragettes, Mark green & myself the merchants. Unfortunately I’d not been able to get my faction many points and was in a terrible position (By the time I noticed how awful I was doing, the empire was too far behind for me to even go for a ‘last place win’. Purple & Green were within a few points of each other, so the highest win giving James the unexpected victory (Unexpected as he was quite unsure what was going on throughout – I don’t blame him as this is a very strange one to learn).

It was fun anyway though, and I really like playing even if it is difficult to work out how to approach things. The temporary support mechanic that I barely mentioned lets you supporting factions outside your main one as an investment to get points back to your main one later, which can give a good swing to that faction at the end, making it so other players want to work out which ones people have to try and block them.

Would love to play with the max of 5 sometime, as I think having all 5 factions represented by players would make for a very interesting difference to play, and make it yet more of an important concern as to what factions each other player has. Sometime soon, maybe ^^.

Anyway that’s all for this week, did some gaming on Sunday so I might post about that if I have time to write it up ^^. Till next time =)

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Afternoon Play (06/07/14)

I arrived a bit early to Afternoon Play on Sunday to see Heather & Simon playing Splender, one of the Spiel Des Jahres nominees for 2014 (Alongside Camel Up & Concept, which they also seem to have picked up at the UK Games Expo ^^). Seeing as it gets so much hype I watched briefly before we opted to play something that isnt’ Splender, seeing as the pair of them have apparently played a hell of a lot recently, and the game they’d played when I arrived was their 3rd just for the day.

Voluspa

After a period of failing to make a decision on what to play, we went with one of my games – Voluspa. For those who may not know, this is a fairly easy to pick up but brain-burning tile placement game. Players take turns to put down tiles, numbered 1 through 8, and if the placed tile is the highest in the row/column it scores 1 point per tile in that row/column. The tiles 1-6 (1-7 potentially, but we weren’t using the nio-hoggr tile I have from the new expansion) have special abilities which give them their value.

In our game, we played with the base game tiles, 2 from the saga-of-edda (Included in the base-box – Hel & Sea Serpent) and 2 from the new expansion I received recently (Raven & Dwarf). Hel lets you break up lines (7 is the maximum length, but the hel tile creates a split to make 2 smaller lines), the Sea Serpent can score over gaps in either the row or column it scores, the Raven is placed twice and can go atop other tiles like a dragon, and the Dwarf has a special scoring method where it scores the value of adjacent tiles divided by 2).

Our game started off fairly friendly, with me using a Loki on the initial tile making for an easy to score against 0 tile. A good spread of tiles were used early, with no trolls coming out until later in the game (Trolls block placement next to them, so with them being left out till mid-game it kept opportunities for scoring plentiful early on). Another rule of Voluspa is that the maximum length of a row/column is 7 tiles, which is also a contribution to a wane in points opportunities in the mid-game. Another tile we used,

Loonacy

Following our game of Voluspa, we gained an extra player (Adam, I think/hope). We changed game to ‘Loonacy’, which is a fast-playing symbol-matching game (Which seems to be a popular mechanic among small games ^^).

Each card has 2 pictures, from probably 10-15 possibilities (No idea how many exactly). 2 cards are placed face-up in the middle of the table, and each player is dealt/takes 7 cards to make their starting hand. In real-time, players try to match symbols on cards in their hand to ones on the table (Only one of the 2 images need to match), putting the card down atop the other when they see a match (One at a time, but can just play very quickly ^^). If noone can place, everyone draws a card, flipping so they see it at the same time, and play continues. First person to run out of cards wins.

I was a little worried when this was suggested as it’s a loony labs game, and while I found Fluxx fun for a few plays it has a tendency to overstay its’ welcome (And ‘Are You the Traitor’ from them is a pretty half-arsed attempt at a bluffing/deception game). But I was assured it was particularly quick so well, why not ^^.

The first game I was able to run my hand down to 2 cards before the first draw, and down to 1 for another 3-4 after that where the opportunity to put down my last didn’t show, but finally did netting me the win, with others in need of a flag which didn’t go down until my winning card ^^.

The second game went considerably faster, with I think 1 draw before Heather emptied her hand ridiculously fast & taking a speedy victory ^^.

Concept

Next up we got some more players involved and changed to the game ‘Concept’. I only know Jenny’s name from the additions so the others are unfortunately to be known as ‘P6’, ‘P7’ and ‘P8’ =P. (Note, I wrote the next paragraph multiple times…Remarkably hard to explain this game without the board in front of the explainee).

Concept has a similar er..concept..to something like charades or pictionary, without the aspect where you have to be um…competant. Players take turns to present ‘concepts’, which they do by placing pieces in 5 colours onto a board of images, which each represent something, such as ‘liquid’, ‘green’, ‘nighttime’, etc. The other players try to guess what your concept is while you do this – the first to guess correctly gets 2 points, and each player involved in presenting the concept gets 1 point (You always work with the player to your left, and can optionally invite others to help present, they get to see the card then, but can’t get 2 points for guessing). For one I did yesterday, I put the main concept marker on ‘naval/marine’, with a cube between fire & water (Spoiler: Steamboat).

I have no idea what format to write about this game in, but lets try this (Sorry I can only remember a few examples on the spot!)
– Main concept marker on ‘speech/saying’, other cubes placed in an arrow pointing from ‘eye’ to ‘torso’.
– Main concept marker on ‘person’, cube on black. Subconcept cube on sun, and another on ‘inversion’
– 3×3 set of cubes places on ‘Wind/clouds’
– Main marker on ‘location’, cubes in a cross over ‘city/place’. 3×2 of red cubes placed on the star

(Admittedly most of those are ones I was on the ‘placing pieces’ side, as it’s evidently hard for me to remember what other people put down ^^).

– The first of them took a while for us to get (I think it was Simon/Heathers first one played of the game). In fact they had some help and extra subconcepts were put down asides from what I describes (One on naval/marine for example, to get the ‘navel’ bit ^^). I don’t think I’d have got it given hours, ‘navel-gazing’ isn’t the most obvious of phrases to me :S

– The ‘person’ one was one I picked from the card, for ‘Silhouette’.

– The 3×3 of cubes, which I said to avoid saying nine as that’d be too easy to guess, was for cloud nine (The main concept marker was on movie, forgot to mention ^^).

– Finally was the one we used as a tie-breaker between the 2 players on the most points, so the rest of the 6 of us put out the pieces. The 3×2 of red cubes had a line of 4 blacks added to make it a clear flag (Chinese flag!) and the cross over the city…Forbidden City ^^.

All in all, I think it’s a fantastic game and am looking forward to my own copy arriving, as I think this will go down well with housemates/friends who’re less into more complex games, while still requiring a good amount of thought into the play. Many thanks for Simon/Heather for bringing this along as it was great fun to play with 8, which probably won’t happen for me too often ^^.

Evening Play

Braggart

After concept we were getting near the closing time for the cafe that Afternoon Play is held at, so with the group splitting into ‘heading home’ and ‘moar games!’ I joined the games option and went to Evening Play (In a pub, so unfortunately a less pleasant environment ^^).

We arrived before the other Afternoon Play group (There’s 2 cafe’s its’ held at, although I’ve only been to the one that’s 30 seconds from the train station =P), and with 6 of us at the table initially ‘Braggart’ was suggested and become the first game of the Evening (Myself, Adam, JP, Nasia, Jenny, and er…Player 6, sorry my memory is awful, this is the person right next to me as well!).

Braggart is a game of, suitably enough, hanging out in a bar and bragging about past adventures (For we are grand adventurers who have many a tale to tell!). Over the game you try to obtain cards to perform ‘boasts’ (Stories), which must consist of a deed and a foe, but may also have a Scene and result for extra points. In the deck are also ‘plot’ cards helping you restructure your hand or steal cards, and ‘liar’ cards which let you interupt someone’s story and swap one of their cards for one of the ones in your hand.

The result is a particularly fun game of ridiculous stories which have a tendency to get even more ridiculous when people call you a liar on them (Although for the most part, people leave your story alone if it’s funny enough! One of mine in our game was ‘Astride my Mighty Steed, I married off my Sister to an Evil necromancer, and won a reward for it’ (Well, roughly, I think I mixed up a couple by accident but that’s the gist of it!).

I don’t remember many of the stories told (For our adventurers were having many a drink telling them after all) but a good time was had, with JP & Adam getting a healthy chunk more successful stories than the rest of us (If your story scores highest in a round, you keep all cards as score, otherwith just the highest-card…I never got the highest). The end-score was a huge range of 40-something down to my petty 17.

Hanabi

Finally, with Jenny/Player-6 heading off, the 4 of us remaining (There was plenty others about, but in games at the time) went with ‘Hanabi’, a game I haven’t played before, but one I’ve had a mild interest in with it’s rather unique mechanic where you don’t know your own hand.

Hanabi is about building up an impressive firework display, with the aim being to impress the emperor and avoid having your heads chopped off for sloppy work. This is achieved by playing cards in 5 colours (6 as we accidentally had the ‘rainbow’ set in there as well), but you have to play first the 1, then 2, then 3, etc for each colour to get them down (You can of course do all the piles at the same time). Of coures you don’t know what you have, so that’s quite difficult ^^.

On a turn, you can do a number of things, play a card (Either put it on the right pile, or into the discards and lose one of the 3 lives for getting it wrong), discard a card (Throw it a way, restoring a clue token and avoiding losing lives, but potentially losing an important card – e.g. there’s only one of each 5, 2 of each 4, etc), or giving a clue (I.e. use up one of the 9 clue tokens). To give a clue, you tell one person only, either all the cards they have of one colour, or all of 1 number (E.g. ‘this, this and this card are 1s’). It’s then up to the individual player to remember that those cards have that information (Of course you can help yourself along by positioning cards smartly).

Our game started off with things going pretty easily, as with 9 clues to give and nothing down on the table, it’s easy to give people the information to get the 1’s down on the table. Before running out of clues to give, we managed to get the 5 1’s and up to about 3 on the green pile.

When those initial clues are out though, the game gets that much more tense, as while you probably have some information at this point (I knew I had a 5 for example), you can only discard or play, so either throw away a potentially useful card or sacrifice one to recover a clue token. We were able to get many of the 2’s down fairly quickly, but things slowed down past that, particularly as we happened across a rainbow card (In there by mistake) and decided to keep it in as an extra suit – A quick reshuffle to spread them out (As they weren’t well distributed as they weren’t supposed to be in the deck ^^) and we continued with play. I think I lost us the first life somewhere around this time, though I can’t remember what I did to make that happen.

We were able to get to the required score to be considered a success (I.e. not have our heads chopped) but opted to try and carry on and hit a ‘stretch’ score of 25 (18 is the pass point). Things went a bit downhill by this point however, with us struggling to pass the right information for successful plays, and I ended up discarded a few important cards as I was given no information + got left not being able to give out clues.

When we neared the end of the deck, we’d lost another of the 3 mistake chances along the way and with one left, couldn’t risk playing again, which meant we couldn’t hit the 25 score (Not sure if we could have at that point anyway, but could have been very close had we taken random chances on playing cards).

I think we finished around 22-23, and had lots of fun. Very happy to have had the chance to play Hanabi, as it’s a very interesting one to play, forcing players to work together (While also being frustrating, because you are totally reliant on others!). It’s also a difficult one to deal with any distractions in, as JP demonstrated by forgetting which of his cards was a red, then getting told 2 were 5’s (Had he known which was the red 5, we could have done a good amount better, losing a life instead as the yellow 5 was a mistake to play) – On top of that, he got told which 2 cards were 5’s twice in a row, when the information he was missing was the colour, eep! (Interestingly, while I usually forget what everyone else did in this game and remember my own things, it’s a bit opposite here ^^).

After Hanabi it looked like the next game was to be Avalon/Werewolf, and seeing as I really wasn’t feeling up to wasting time on a traitor game headed off home (I do like them btw, but got to be in the mood, as I get ignored/permanently considered-a-traitor because I’m too quiet anyway). Thanks very much to everyone there and especially those that organise it, hopefully see you next month!

Halesowen Board Games #20 (02/07/14)

Among the Stars

First game of the evening was Among the Stars, which I’ve been wanting to get a play in for with the Ambassadors expansion in play (As it’s probably last year since I last got to use it!). This seems to be one of the games that I get chronic new-player disorder with, and end up avoiding the extra stuff, but on this occasion my desire to use cool stuff took priority ^^.

The Ambassadors expansion for Among the Stars adds a new action that can be performed when you discard a card (In base you just have ‘Take 3 Credits’ or ‘Build a Power Reactor’). This new action is to invite an ambassador to your station, which is to be chosen from a few available (We used 3 but I have a strange feeling it could be dependant on #players), paying the cost and immediately using their ability. Rather than place them into your station as locations, you keep the ambassador in front of you and place a bureau card into you station representing the place you have for the visiting ambassadors (Well, sometimes, as ambassadors that have you build a location have you discard a bureau instead).

Essentially, what this adds to the game is more options and a touch of player interaction. The ambassadors are generally equal or perhaps a little weaker than building more locations, but if they happen to get you that precise thing you need, may just be worth it. The interaction aspect comes in as you need to consider that other players will also be looking to invite ambassadors, which may interfere with your plans.

The final interesting thing to mention is that the ambassadors are based around the various races in the game (Which each person is a member of one of, giving variable player powers). You can’t invite ambassadors are your own faction, but can pick up benefits of others (E.g. a Hythian ambassador (Hythian reactors provide 3 power instead of 2) might pump some more energy cubes into your existing reactors). This is a really cool thematic element, as well as making gameplay choices interesting (as you’ll likely step on the toes of the person who’s race that is, in the indirect sense of wanting certain location cards to use it effectively).

Anyway. our game! Players were myself (Nyxtos – lets me cancel one card/player over the course of the game), Stan (Humareen – <redacted>), Steve (Wiss – Can’t build reactors, but main reactor has infinite range and 5 power instead of 2) and Mark (<redacted> – ambassadors cost 1 more credit, but provide 2 points a piece at endgame).

From fairly early on, it was reasonable clear what objectives players aimed to get (From ‘most red’, ‘most blue’, ‘most purple’ and ‘first to 5 ambassadors’). I was generally going for red, purple & blue (Mainly red), Stan & Steve for purple, and Mark for most objectives & blue. For me things went that way as I got a couple of early locations which provided points for having those colours, as well as an early turret which led me to want all turrets which came by me.

As the game continued, Stan/Steve continued to be neck & neck for the most purple locations (Frustratingly, as I had a red/purple location that gave me vp equal to the lower quantity of one of those location types I had, and I had a ton of red already ^^). Mark rushed ambassadors as he wanted all 5 anyway for his racial ability, getting him the first-to-5. I went considerably into the lead with reds, as noone else seemed to want them (Meant I got 3 turrets which was nice, as they scale off quantity of them).

On the ambassadors front, I got one that gave me a couple of credits and made credits worth more points to me (2credits = 1vp instead of 3=1), another an extra vp per empty reactor and er, I had another one but forget what it did ^^. Mark had lots, at least one was for credits, one made the ‘discard for 3 credits’ action considerably weaker for a year (I.e. discard for 1), another stopped us passing our hands for a turn, and a couple more. Steve had a couple giving him some power (Which helped skirt the ‘can’t built additional power reactors’ of his race) and Stan got at least one for credits and I forget what else (Which was fiendish, as I would have taken it to make use of my 1vp/2 credits from my ambassador!).

Other things of possible interest are that both Steve/Stan had quite square stations, built around race-tracks (2 of them in Steve’s case!), Marks was ridiculously wide, being not particularly tall, and mine didn’t really have any particular logic to it, but was a sort of star shape. Also I had a ridiculous amount of delayed rather than immediate abilities, as I just never seemed to have a good layout to get a strong amount of points from the immediate abilities – I think I’ll try and make more surrounded gaps for building things that get points from adjacency in future.

After putting together endgame points, I jumped from 4th to 2nd, Mark was in 1st a little out of reach, and Stan/Steve in 3rd/4th but I forget which way around. It was a good game, although I think I made a few mistakes due looking too much at ambassadors and not enough at my hand/station layout. In terms of powers I feel like Marks was a bit on the strong side (Costs 5 extra credits, but 10 points, whereas most races net maybe ~3 on average, emphasised as credits are generally a little easier to get with ambassadors), Nyxtos which i had I’m not a huge fan as it’s quite variable and reliant on screwing other players, Wiss is a nice one with limited but infinite range power (For those who don’t know, power usually has a 2-space max range, so you need to build power reactors in the right places to make best use of it), unfortunately I forget was Stans humareen provided, but I think it was a few VP.

Arctic Scavengers

Next up, after a brief discussion of what to play next where I for some reason didn’t try very hard to tout Trains and Stations (I feel I should have because it’s a new addition to my colelction ^^), we went with Steve’s brand spanking new copy of Arctic Scavengers.

Arctic Scavengers is a deck-building game where players decks represent tribes in an arctic wasteland, with players digging, scrounging and fighting to get strong and increase the size of their tribe. At the end of the game, the player who has the most tribesmen is the winner.

Each turn consists of a play phase and a skirmish phase. In the play phase, players take turns to play cards to perform various actions if possible from a short list of possibilities – Draw (Take cards from your deck into your hand), Dig (Look at cards from the waste pile, keeping 0-1 of them), Hire(Take a card from the hiring area into your deck, paying its’ cost), Trash (Shuffle any number of cards from your hand into the waste pile). Each action can only be performed once/turn, but you can potentially do all of them. At the end of the actions phase, the player declares how many cards he’s not used and keeps them face-down in front of them.

When all players complete their turns, the skirmish phase occurs. Each player reveals the set-aside cards and the attack-power of these cards is compared, the winner takes the top of the good-stuff pile (It has an official name, I just happen to have an awful memory) into their deck. The good-stuff pile also acts as a timer for the game – If it runs out the game ends (Alternatively I think if 2 piles of hirables are emptied, or something like that ^^).

This was the first time for all of us in our game, so I think there was lots of poking-and-prodding to see how things went. For example the first turn I did nothing, declaring all my cards so I could have the card from the ‘good-stuff’ pile (Which was a group of 5 people, who were pretty useless other than numbers). Other seemed to do plenty of digging, and I think Mark got some extra scavengers (Can do everything, but aren’t particularly special at anything). The 2nd turn I picked up an extra brawler, so that I could aim to win the end-turn skirmishes.

A few turns in I realised noone was using the trash action, so I made use of it to throw away all my refugees (A start-deck card that is pretty useless but worth 1 point and can potentially use tools that you have). I think Stan got rid of a few of his too, but don’t remember seeing Steve/Mark particularly trying to chuck theirs. I think all other players got cards with the medical icon (Required for hiring some cards) which you get from digging through waste, although I got a medpack eventually. For most of my turns I kept a large-ish number of people back, which worked out quite well as I got 4 of the ‘set of people’ cards, particularly good when you consider 1person = 1point and skirmish ties are broken by most people in the fight.

Near the end of the game people finally started being able to buy the more interesting cards. Stan got a couple of saboteurs though he never used them, I got a group leader and grenade which I never used, and I couldn’t really tell what Steve/Mark had as upside-cards aren’t particularly obvious when it’s your first time playing a game ^^. When the game ended, we added up points with me winning on 29 points, which to be honest is pretty much because I was rarely doing anything so won skirmishes a lot. I think it was kind of disapointing that it finished right as we started being able to afford better cards – In fact I think it wasn’t until my last or second-to-last turn that I finally had enough to buy more than a subset of 3-4 of the possibilities as I never seemed to get the medic-symbols at the right times.

I think it’s a pretty good game, but without the (Included, to be fair) expansion content I think wouldn’t stay interesting past a game or two, as there’s just not a whole lot of variety as a result of most cards just being facilitators for the 4 basic actions (I think ~3 of the possible hires had some special text to make them do something different). Certainly up for trying again sometime with the expansion included to see what it injects to make the game more varied and what other mechanics it adds (There was an extra piece for a deck of cards that isn’t used in the base game, which must mean more than just card variety is added).

So er…thanks for the games all! ^^.